Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels – Still No Mention of CJ Mahaney

“The church of Jesus Christ is triumphant in heaven. American evangelicalism, though, is in a time of great peril.”

Tweet by Russell Moore

https://twitter.com/ERLC/status/974472325235183617Russell Moore

Last Saturday Russell Moore took to Twitter to chime in about the following Tweet by Christianity Today:

https://twitter.com/CTmagazine/status/977034327937683456Here is Moore’s Tweet (see screen shot below):

https://twitter.com/drmoore/status/977182886330798080When he posted this on Twitter, Moore was likely still relishing the accolades he received just a few days earlier as chapel speaker at Southern Seminary (March 20) and then at Wheaton College (March 21). Both of these institutions are headed by staunch Calvinists — Al Mohler at Southern Seminary and Philip Ryken at Wheaton College.

How interesting that just two days before the Chicago Tribune broke the story about Bill Hybels, Russell Moore had been in the vicinity of Willow Creek Community Church (Wheaton is approximately 20 miles from main campus of Hybel’s church).

Our friend Todd Wilhelm has written a thought-provoking post in response to Russell Moore’s Tweet, and he has graciously allowed us to share it with our readers. (see Todd’s post below)


Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels – Still No Mention of CJ Mahaney (link)

Todd Wilhelm

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/Russell Moore is correct – American evangelicalism is in a time of great peril.  Moore is a little late to the parade, it seems he hasn’t noticed any problems with Sovereign Grace Churches, nor the numerous other scandals in the evangelical world, but then Sovereign Grace Churches unexplainably continues to enjoy the approval of Mark Dever and Albert Mohler, two influential leaders in the Southern Baptist denomination. In the case of Mohler, Moore is beholden to him for his positions at both Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the ERLC; and Mohler and CJ Mahaney are gospelly buddies, so I don’t expect Moore to ever turn his spotlight on Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches.  For an example of how tight Moore and Mohler are, watch this video. The way Mohler describes Moore you would think he was the second coming of Christ.

For further evidence of just how perilous the times are in the evangelical world, Moore needs to look no further than his own tribe. The list of distinguished celebrities who continue to support CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches is long, headed by the men in the photo below – all speaking at the T4G conference. Do these men totally lack discernment or have their principles been thrown aside in their chase for riches and fame?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-YHSv2x_8Y&feature=youtu.beIf the brilliantly gifted Neo-Calvinist celebrities pictured above remain unwavering in their support for CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches, can one reasonably expect the average man who has purchased a ticket to the T4G conference to exercise a modicum of discernment and refuse to support the T4G conference?

We could expect it, but it doesn’t appear likely to happen. The conference is sold out and you can bet the celebrity fanboys will once again be lining up for photos with the celebrities they idolize.

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/Another telling factor which demonstrates just how perilous the times are for evangelicalism is the lack of discernment demonstrated by many senior pastors.

In spite of the fact that CJ Mahaney has now had to withdraw a second time from speaking at T4G; that there is an abundance of credible evidence showing that CJ Mahaney and his cohorts conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children in Sovereign Grace Churches; that major media have published stories highlighting the scandal within Sovereign Grace Churches; and that Rachael Denhollander has recently made the case that there are major problems in Sovereign Grace Churches and called for an independent investigation there seems to be no shortage of evangelical pastors willing to open their pulpits to CJ Mahaney.

The latest Senior (or Lead) Pastor to demonstrate a lack of discernment is Brad Bigney. Brad pastors Grace Fellowship Church and approved of CJ Mahaney speaking to his congregation at three services on March 18, 2018.

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/Below is Lead Pastor Bigney’s introduction. Please watch this short video. It is a sickening display of over-the-top praise of Mahaney. Unfortunately, this type of behavior occurs nearly every time Mahaney speaks at a church.

Please note also how Pastor Bigney smoothly transitions into a hawker of Mahaney books.

Go to Todd’s post to watch the video clip of Pastor Bigney.

(Here is a screen shot from this video)

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/

I wonder if Pastor Bigney has actually read any of Carolyn Mahaney’s books? If he had I don’t think he could, in good conscience, recommend them to his congregants. What is actually taking place is shameless flattery of Mahaney coupled with an attempt to make a buck.

In an article titled “My People Are Destroyed – Lack of Discernment in Modern Christianity,” Peter Ditzel wrote, “It has become commonplace for today’s moguls of Christian media to air programs and print books that their predecessors of only a generation ago would have had the discernment to reject.”

Such is the case with “True Feelings: God’s Gracious and Glorious Purpose for Our Emotions,” one of the books Pastor Bigney recommended.

One of the reviews I read online had this to say about the book:

“I was a bit disappointed in this book, the writing style is tedious and condescending.” “I had a hard enjoying the reading, as it dragged and I often felt like they were talking down to me. Each paragraph was just the same point repeated 4 or 6 times with slight changes in wording as if the authors thought the reader did not understand them the first time. At times, I felt like the authors were writing to children or teenagers.” “This book would have been much better if I felt like the authors were helping me to build on my own past experiences and understanding to process my present emotions and situations, rather than treating me like I must be completely ignorant about my own emotional life and past, and therefore need to learn everything from their expertise.” “Fortunately, that flaw was less overt and obvious compared to the condescending and repetitive tone, and I think even if you are not a woman or not a homemaker, there are still good principles here to glean if you are willing to read through redundant paragraphs and at times patronizing writing.”
Review of “True Feelings: God’s Gracious and Glorious Purpose for Our Emotions” by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre

With all the good books in print, this is the one Lead Pastor Bigney urged his congregants to spend their money on (once again demonstrating his lack of discernment), and the obedient pew-sitters did so; all the copies sold out after the first service, but not to worry, Pastor Bigney reminded the faithful in the second service that there is always Amazon Prime!

Next is a short introduction by CJ Mahaney. Nothing new here. He says nearly the same things at every church he speaks at.

Please go to Todd’s post to watch this clip of CJ Mahaney.

(Here is a screen shot from this video)

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/At the end of the video, Mahaney states that he doesn’t know how Lead Pastor Bigney preaches the same message three times every Sunday. While Mahaney doesn’t preach the same message numerous times on the same day (since his church has only one service), I have documented how Mahaney preaches the same message time after time at different venues. His three sermons at GFC make my case. Below are the three subjects he preached on at GFC. Following that, you will see a screenshot of the exact same messages he had earlier preached at his own church!

Brent Detwiler was correct when he said Mahaney is a con man! Instead of reading books by Carolyn Mahaney I suggest you read “Elmer Gantry” by Sinclair Lewis. Your eyes may be opened!

https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/https://thouarttheman.org/2018/03/28/russell-moore-says-evangelicalism-time-great-peril-bill-hybels-still-no-mention-cj-mahaney/


Comments

Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels – Still No Mention of CJ Mahaney — 381 Comments

  1. “Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels – Still No Mention of CJ Mahaney”

    A case of schadenfreude: pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune, (or misstep, and furthermore, the pot calling the kettle black).

    When PTL, AKA Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, fell apart, our Baptist pastor began his sermon the following Sunday morning with, “Thanking God today that I am not an Assemblies of God pastor”.

    Ouch.

  2. Dave AA: Since CJM withdrew–voluntarily, for the sake of the gospel, dontcha know–I assume T4G put the red brand over his face and omitted his name from the caption. But those in the know, know.

  3. One does not have to be so distant from the triumphant Christ in heaven. What’s the purpose all of the old liturgical services? It’s to model heaven on earth. And why did the Church always say the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ? You don’t have to believe in transubstantiation to embrace that. Christ’s act of priesthood and sacrifice exist out of time and space.

    “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”

  4. “Mahaney is a con man!”

    Agreed, and the others, such as Bigney, are nothing other than his accomplices.

  5. @ Seraph:
    I’m not sure how your comment relates to the subject under discussion. Is this a record for thread derailment?

  6. Forrest wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    I’m not sure how your comment relates to the subject under discussion. Is this a record for thread derailment?

    I’m just responding to the man’s acknowledgement that heaven feels like some distant ideal. I’m not trying to derail anything. It’s just sad.

    The way for a body of believers to not feel distant from Christ in heaven is to simply acknowledge him in our services. To make the ideal real in praise, song, in our rituals and symbols. If you made church actually about worshipping God, then he would not feel distant (and I’m not saying Evangelicals don’t do this. Many do).

    Even pagans get the basic concept of “religion” right. Which is ritual and symbol, that invite and point to a mystery. Except they invite demons, unfortunately.

    Church is certainly not “school” though.. or “pulpits” and “teachers”. Let alone hinging on said teachers and other temporal things, which will inevitably disappoint or stale. Especially a cult centered on said teacher.

  7. @ Seraph:
    Interesting. Which man are you referring to? I didn’t pick that up in the article, which I understood to be about cover up of abuse in the *church* and the lack of discernment shown by many lead *pastors* in relation to their idols who have been, and continue to be, complicit in said cover ups.

  8. Dave A A wrote:

    Wasn’t Page kinda sorta Moore’s boss?

    More than “kinda sorta”. Page had the power to fire Moore.

  9. refugee wrote:

    I wonder if he’ll have anything to say about Page’s resignation or retirement.

    Doubt it. If something bad happens under the SBC tent……. Shhhhhhh!

  10. Forrest wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    Interesting. Which man are you referring to? I didn’t pick that up in the article, which I understood to be about cover up of abuse in the *church* and the lack of discernment shown by many lead *pastors* in relation to their idols who have been, and continue to be, complicit in said cover ups.

    Sorry for being confusing then. I was referring to Russell Moore’s “Twitter” message.. where he says “The church of Jesus Christ is triumphant in heaven. American evangelicalism, though, is in a time of great peril.”

    The fact that he even differentiates the two is kind of the problem. 🙂

  11. @ Seraph:
    Moore believes that Christians are worms on earth but will be magically restored for heaven. But he is one of the annointed Philosopher Kings that God has appointed to educate the rest of us worms.

  12. Lydia wrote:

    How does one know they are an Evangelical?

    Kind of a catchall word for all “conservative” Protestants, right?

    Or basically anything not mainline Protestant (PCUSA, Episcopal, etc).

  13. Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels

    Deb, I don’t get how it’s assumed that Moore is assigning evangelicalism’s peril to Hybels. Isn’t he referring to a larger picture, something that Hybels is merely a part of?

  14. @ Seraph:
    Moore is SBC and Reformed -depending on the audience he is speaking to at the moment. He is also an SJW (who lives in wealthy Brentwood in a bubble world)

    Just a few years ago he was the go-to guy for all things patriarchy in the SBC. He wants proclaimed that comps are wimps and we needed more patriarchy.

    I don’t even know what conservative/liberal means anymore? Are they establishment elite labels? Or is one a belief in our ability to self govern –which does not even match reformed theology –where we cannot help but be horrible sinners.

    It’s all very interesting when you really think about it. A sort of spin control for the peasants.

    I think I will claim the “ability to self govern” label. 🙂

  15. Ted wrote:

    Russell Moore Says Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because of Bill Hybels

    Deb, I don’t get how it’s assumed that Moore is assigning evangelicalism’s peril to Hybels. Isn’t he referring to a larger picture, something that Hybels is merely a part of?

    Who are evangelicals?

  16. Seraph wrote:

    Kind of a catchall word for all “conservative” Protestants, right?

    Or basically anything not mainline Protestant (PCUSA, Episcopal, etc).

    No, Evangelicalism and Protestantism are not the same thing–though there is obviously overlap. There are Roman Catholic Evangelicals. When I was attended a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, the people there seemed (blessedly) disconnected from Evangelicalism.

    David Bebbington’s (a historian) Four Pillars of Evangelicalism (my words, not his) get at Evangelicalism’s essence (which was/is on the NAE’s own web page):

    • Conversionism: the belief that lives need to be transformed through a “born-again” experience and a life long process of following Jesus.
    • Activism: the expression and demonstration of the gospel in missionary and social reform efforts.
    • Biblicism: a high regard for and obedience to the Bible as the ultimate authority.
    • Crucicentrism: a stress on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as making possible the redemption of humanity.

    To put it another way: Billy Graham + Christianity Today + Wheaton College + Youth for Christ = Evangelicalism.

    I’m a PCA pastor. I typically distance myself from the adjectival form (Evangelical), though our denomination is probably considered to be so by outsiders.

  17. These guys have no shame…. they are masters of trying to deflect scandal off themselves…. Since he is calling out Hybells, more justifcation to turn up the spotlight on two of their own; good old CJ and Page…..

  18. It is important to know that Russell Moore referred to a tweet about the Hybels/WillowCreek disaster.

  19. Lydia wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    Moore is SBC and Reformed -depending on the audience he is speaking to at the moment. He is also an SJW (who lives in wealthy Brentwood in a bubble world)

    Just a few years ago he was the go-to guy for all things patriarchy in the SBC. He wants proclaimed that comps are wimps and we needed more patriarchy.

    I don’t even know what conservative/liberal means anymore? Are they establishment elite labels? Or is one a belief in our ability to self govern –which does not even match reformed theology –where we cannot help but be horrible sinners.

    It’s all very interesting when you really think about it. A sort of spin control for the peasants.

    I think I will claim the “ability to self govern” label.

    Fair enough. I’m not exactly sure what conservative and liberal mean either, to be honest. On one end, I’m very much against abortion, which is associated with conservatives. So are many of these evangelicals. And it’s something I despise about the secular world. But that’s pretty much where it ends. I’m also against other forms of war and unfairness they seem to ignore.. or outright support. Maybe I should say I’m not conservative. I just enjoy life.

  20. @ dee:
    For clarity, I have edited the post and put a screen shot of Moore’s Tweet along with the CT Tweet to which he was referring.

  21. @ Ted:
    Thanks for the query. I have switched out the screen shot to show the Christianity Tweet to which Russell Moore was referring. Hope this helps. 🙂

  22. You won’t hear a peep out of Moore on the T4G bunch. He is of that tribe and idolizes the New Calvinist leaders within it. Prior to his ERLC position, he was Al Mohler’s right hand man at SBTS as Dean of Theology, Sr. Vice President of Academic Administration, and chief academic officer for the seminary (think about it). He is in the reformed movement lock, stock and barrel and would never accuse any of its leaders as contributing to the “Time of Great Peril” in evangelicalism. As President of SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, he is dodging one of the greatest threats to pulpit ethics and religious liberty in America … New Calvinism. In Christ, you are free … in New Calvinism, you are not. It is a perilous time for any believer exposed to it. If they will subordinate the Son, they will subordinate you. Deception, control, manipulation, and intimidation are the fruit of their ministry – if you hang out in their ranks for any length of time, you will experience it. Indeed, the American church ‘is’ in a time of great peril – the Gospel is being replaced by the doctrines of men … New Calvinism is on the front line of this rebellion.

  23. Lydia wrote:

    Moore is SBC and Reformed -depending on the audience he is speaking to at the moment. He is also an SJW (who lives in wealthy Brentwood in a bubble world)

    Just a few years ago he was the go-to guy for all things patriarchy in the SBC. He wants proclaimed that comps are wimps and we needed more patriarchy.

    I’d just point out that it is a contradiction in terms to describe Moore as an SJW and a patriarchalist, considering that the whole SJW thing started over women in video games.

    In short, if Moore’s a partriarchalist (and I believe he is), he’s not an SJW. Rather, I’d classify him as an opportunist.

  24. “The way Mohler describes Moore you would think he was the second coming of Christ.”

    Well, Mohler isn’t a prophet and Moore is certainly not Jesus! There is no shortage of flattery in New Calvinist ranks. The praise, adulation, and bootlicking within the new reformation are reaching creepy proportions. I have had thoughts about that for years, but will not share them on TWW since I am too nice.

  25. @ Muslin fka Deana Holmes:
    I agree that he’s an opportunist and i believe totally unprincipled. But I doubt his WaPo and other MSM viewers agree with you. They see him as a PC sjw Christian leader. And that’s all that matters.

  26. @ Seraph:
    I still don’t know who fits in what category. Many people are using definitions from 30 years ago. The Overton window has moved quite a bit. I think we have an establishment Elite problem both in government and in the church. And that’s our fault.

  27. “Mahaney preaches the same message time after time at different venues”

    And I bet if one was to dig a little deeper, they would find his “sermons” borrowed from others … changed a little here and there to protect the guilty. Mahaney performs – he doesn’t preach.

  28. Lydia wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    I still don’t know who fits in what category. Many people are using definitions from 30 years ago. The Overton window has moved quite a bit. I think we have an establishment Elite problem both in government and in the church. And that’s our fault.

    I know where some Christians fit, but not always evangelicals. Many Orthodox and Catholics aren’t pro-abortion yet against blindly accepting “Republicans” (especially usury and the warmongering). Not all Catholics though. I mean the “consistent life” ones (no abortion, no war, no death penalty). The actor Martin Sheen is a famous one.. I think he gets mistaken for a leftist, but he’s just a Catholic.

  29. Lydia wrote:

    Moore is SBC and Reformed -depending on the audience he is speaking to at the moment. He is also an SJW (who lives in wealthy Brentwood in a bubble world)
    Just a few years ago he was the go-to guy for all things patriarchy in the SBC. He wants proclaimed that comps are wimps and we needed more patriarchy.

    IMO, Russell Moore is one of the reasons evangelicalism is in peril!

  30. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    Wasn’t Page kinda sorta Moore’s boss?

    More than “kinda sorta”. Page had the power to fire Moore.

    Not to be too picky – but the only group that legally can fire the leader of an SBC entity is the Board of Trustees of that entity.

    Only the Board of the ERLC can fire Dr. Moore. Only the Board of Southern Seminary can fire Al Mohler. Only the Board of Southwestern Seminary can fire Paige Patterson. And so on.

    All of these entities are separate legal entities, incorporated in the states where they are located.

    But you ARE correct in your understanding that Dr. Page can have a big impact on whether any entity leader keeps his or her job.

    Dr. Page’s job is to run the SBC office in Nashville under the direction of the Executive Committee, which acts as the Convention in between the annual meeting.

    The SBC office gets money sent to it by the State Conventions and other direct gifts. The SBC then distributes the money to the SBC entities according to the allocation budget adopted by the messengers to the annual SBC meeting. Dr. Page and his staff oversee this. And Dr. Page tries to keep everyone happy – the State conventions, the entities etc.

    So, if an agency leader is doing things that stirs up strife between agencies, or angering churches so that they don’t want to give to the Cooperative Program (the funding mechanism of the SBC), Dr. Page or the guy in his position, is going to become very active. And while Dr. Page can’t fire an entity leader, if he goes public with criticism, that can have a very detrimental effect on the future of that leader.

  31. Before Russell Moore was a big wig evangelical, he was involved in politics. He also was/is involved with the CBMW and TGC.

  32. Some of us who have been around these guys for a while now understand how they operate. Sometimes things are so subtle we don’t really pick up on them at the time. Example would be Al Mohler insisting on adding the “s” to priesthood of believer in the 2000 bfm 18 years ago. No big deal? Wrong.

    We also know by all of their reform / Neo Cal Partnerships over the last 15 years or so ago they were trying to build a sort of super denomination (TGC/T4G/Acts29,Sojourn,etc) using SBC resources and wealthy donors from the Presbyterians, etc.

    What is the best way to distinguish your brand? Make the brand you’ve identified with an enemy. Brand them as the bad people to deflect. It works. Look at how many people are running around trashing evangelicals. Who are they? I have never seen a monolithic group of evangelicals and I am old!

  33. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    He worked for Congressman Gene Taylor a long time ago. But real involved at SBTS. He pushed a bit of environmentalism at SBTS in Mooreto the Point. Anti-Abortion and pro adoption stuff.Since ERLC he is very involved. He is pushing for SBC to get in business with the UN. Big money.

  34. Excellent article, Todd. I think they may be quick to jump on Hybel’s case because of his role in the whole “seeker sensitive” church concept. He’s not part of their clique, and ranks down there with Joel Osteen and Rick Warren as pastors to watch with suspicion.

    The clips of Pastor Bigby were interesting. His clothing and hairstyle, and even his hand gestures, make him look like a CJ clone. Welcome to Kentucky.

  35. Seraph wrote:

    What’s the purpose all of the old liturgical services? It’s to model heaven on earth.

    What? Someone has been to heaven and knows this?

  36. Lydia wrote:

    I still don’t know who fits in what category.

    The issue is a continuum. I am thinking that there are an increasing number of people who have no idea what they might be calling themselves and who mostly don’t care what labels float around. There is a real advantage to labeling oneself by whatever label fits the immediate circumstance.

    For myself, I think that people do not have a god-given right or a governmant-given right to demand that other people label themselves, and therefore it is well within the limits of honesty to use whatever word/label works best in whatever circumstance. That is called f*r*e*e*do*m* in my book.

  37. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    I wonder if he’ll have anything to say about Page’s resignation or retirement.

    Doubt it. If something bad happens under the SBC tent……. Shhhhhhh!

    It’s disgusting? No mention of their own mess, but let’s point out what’s going on over there. Deflection.

  38. refugee wrote:

    I wonder if he’ll have anything to say about Page’s resignation or retirement.

    Hmmm. For those who don’t know Dr. Frank Page, he is/was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee. He resigned/retired earlier this week, confessing moral failure. At one time, Dr. Page was very opposed to the New Calvinist movement within SBC, even writing a book “Trouble With The Tulip” (TULIP is an acronym for Calvinistic doctrines of grace) … but he became strangely quiet in this regard in the recent past. As SBC’s chief executive, he responded to cries from across the denomination to look into the New Calvinist movement and its band of young, restless and reformed wreaking havoc in SBC churches (SBC is/was a non-Calvinist denomination); Dr. Page formed a committee to look into the matter. He essentially reported back that it wasn’t that big a deal and for all SBC pastors and churches to try to get along with each other by making room under the big SBC tent for diverse theologies. I wonder why he stopped confronting the proliferation of Calvinism within SBC … perhaps he couldn’t point a finger at others? It continues to amaze me that a multitude of “men of God” in America are having so much trouble keeping their pants on!

  39. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    He worked for Congressman Gene Taylor a long time ago. But real involved at SBTS. He pushed a bit of environmentalism at SBTS in Mooreto the Point. Anti-Abortion and pro adoption stuff.Since ERLC he is very involved. He is pushing for SBC to get in business with the UN. Big money.

    Oops. NOT real involved at SBTS

  40. Lydia wrote:

    Who are evangelicals?

    That’s exactly the question, Lydia, and one that Russell Moore has been asking too, as have I.

    The basis of my comment comes from an article that Moore wrote two years ago, about distancing himself from the term, that “the word ‘evangelical’ has been co-opted by heretics and lunatics.” See the Washington Post article:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/29/russell-moore-why-this-election-makes-me-hate-the-word-evangelical/?utm_term=.ef0dcd5dedc5

    Although Moore’s tweet followed the report on Bill Hybels, I’d expect that he sees the Hybels scandal as a symptom and not the cause. In the WaPo article, Moore refers to candidates, but I think he sees them as symptoms. We are the problem, if we’re behaving badly and giving evangelicalism a bad name.

  41. Deb wrote:

    Something else to cover. The scandals just keep coming.

    “Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, ‘Son of man, now dig into the wall.’ So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there. And he said to me, ‘Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here’ … ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol?” (Ezekiel 8)

    The Wartburg Watch is a hole in the wall.

  42. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    Wasn’t Page kinda sorta Moore’s boss?

    More than “kinda sorta”. Page had the power to fire Moore.

    Until I googled them together, I was unaware he almost did fire him a year ago. In light of recent events, I imagine Moore’s job was saved by handing Page an envelope with incriminating photos.

  43. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    He worked for Congressman Gene Taylor a long time ago. But real involved at SBTS. He pushed a bit of environmentalism at SBTS in Mooreto the Point. Anti-Abortion and pro adoption stuff.Since ERLC he is very involved. He is pushing for SBC to get in business with the UN. Big money.

    Oops. NOT real involved at SBTS@ GSD [Getting Stuff Done]:
    Not my KY.

  44. Max wrote:

    but he became strangely quiet in this regard in the recent past.

    As per my last comment– they had dirt on him.

  45. I was reflecting on the CJ Mahaney thing and how so many people have protected him over the years by vouching for his truthfulness in relation to the sex abuse at SGM churches and how that was handled.

    What brought it all to my mind was a trailer for the new film, Chappaquiddick.

    Basically, what happened there was that Ted Kennedy was negligent in the operation of an automobile, was probably intoxicated at the time, drove the car of a bridge and into the water. He escaped from the crash, but left a young woman in the car. Kennedy then failed to report the accident for 10 hours.

    To this day, we do not know all that happened that night – but that is primarily due to Kennedy’s failure to report, and the protection given to him by the local law enforcement, which was pressured by Kennedy’s famous family.

    Ted Kennedy went on to serve the rest of his life in the U.S. Senate. He ran for President, was interviewed thousands of times, was described as the “Lion of the Senate”, etc.

    The national media covered for him during this entire career. If George Bush, for example, or some other politician, had killed a young woman in the way Kennedy did, every interview would have been introduced and started and ended with Chappaquiddick.

    Now – back to Mahaney.

    There is no doubt that SGM had incidents of sexual abuse. One might argue about how much, was it by members, staff, elders’ children etc., but for discussion purposes, that’s not important. There was abuse.

    The disagreement is over what was done about the abuse. Victims, their families, former SGM people, SGM written policies, etc. all indicate that SGM, by directive from Mahaney, who was then the “Apostle” or titular head of SGM, tried to handle sexual abuse matters “in-house.” There were theological reasons for that etc. There is also disagreement over how SGM treated people who did not like handling the abuse “in-house.”

    What has happened with SGM is very much like Chappaquiddick. There has never really been a full accounting of what happened and what SGM did. SGM denies that it broke any laws, or that it handled these matters “in-house”, or that it did things to coerce or mistreat victims or their families.

    SGM and Mahaney have been able to get away with full denials, followed by, but because of legal issues, we will not discuss it further.

    SGM’s and Mahaney’s friends in the Christian community have fully accepted that explanation, and so they have vouched for Mahaney.

    And they have had Mahaney speak, and they have lionized him in the Church. They have promoted his books, interviewed him, and in none of those events to they EVER dare to mention the sex abuse scandals. It is not talked about or even mentioned.

    Mahaney’s explanation and denials are taken as Gospel, and those who question that approach are labeled as being unable to forgive, misinformed, not knowing all of the facts, and out to get SGM and Manahey because they don’t like Mahaney’s doctrine or faithfulness to Christ etc.

    The people who vouch for Mahaney and defend him, and refuse to even mention or acknowledge the existence of the scandals, play the same role that the national media did for Ted Kennedy for decades.

    For Kennedy, it worked. He went on to live his life without ever having to truly give an account.

    It will be interesting to see how the media will react to this Movie, “Chappaquiddick”. Will they ignore it? Will the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ignore it?

    For Mahaney, it almost worked, and may still yet.

    Things that happened in the culture, #Metoo, the Morales trial, and now Rachael Denhollander, have come on the scene to cast a spotlight on what happened at SGM.

    I suspect that SGM and Mahaney will NEVER agree to any investigation – EVER.

    I think that they will continue to try and ride this out, and after all of the furor dies down, Mahaney will once again be raised to some prominence.

    The failure of Moore and others in the same orbit to even comment or acknowledge the scandal, or to even list sex abuse in churches as a major ethical issue in terms of prevalence or scope (not in terms of seriousness) will not change.

    They too, I predict, will ignore this, and ride it out.

    Just as the secular media did with Ted Kennedy for 50 years.

  46. I’m not claiming to know they had emails from an angry husband or pics from a PI, but you can well imagine they heard rumors and weren’t afraid to use them.

  47. Geoff Smith wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    I’m a PCA pastor. I typically distance myself from the adjectival form (Evangelical), though our denomination is probably considered to be so by outsiders.

    I just read a great article from a PCA pastor in opc’s latest New Horizon periodical titled ‘Why Be Good?’…. It was very edifying…

  48. Dave A A wrote:

    they had dirt on him

    Does Mahaney have dirt on any of the T4G elite? He’s such an oddball in the midst of all those distinguished men of the cloth.

  49. Thanks for this. Well said. Mahaney is a macho guy that other men apparently, for some reason, look up to, probably wanting his affirmation or something. The result looks from my point of view like a boys club that walks in lockstep around him.

  50. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    He worked for Congressman Gene Taylor a long time ago. But real involved at SBTS. He pushed a bit of environmentalism at SBTS in Mooreto the Point. Anti-Abortion and pro adoption stuff.Since ERLC he is very involved. He is pushing for SBC to get in business with the UN. Big money. @ Bridget:
    Great point.

  51. Evangelicalism is 70 years old. (1947/48 -2018)
    …was born in Southern California, Los Angeles area.
    …is a confederation of militant Fundamentalist.
    …represents a cross-polliniation of multiple Protestant tribes.
    …represents a renewed, and regrouped counterattack in the Fundamentalist – Modernist War,
    previously lost by the Fundamentalist, in the 1920’s.
    …confederate members where embarrassed by, or in disagreement with the separatism, and
    anti- intellectualism of Fundamentalist ideology.
    …is inherently political, and desires social dominance in order to induce external human
    behavioral change.
    …was in part a product of its war time era, and had a war mindset.
    …is entirely dependent upon marshaling resources and mass adherents for social influence.
    …is an evolution of the historical Protestant stream.
    …is a rejection of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
    …desires to seize the Kingdom of God with its leadership as usurpers.

    Harold Ockenga-1947 Fuller Seminary Founding
    “Are you going to do it? Is an untrained man going out? Who is going to occupy until Jesus comes? Listen to me, my friends, the quickest way to evangelize the world, the quickest way to enter the open field, the quickest way to do God’s work in the period of respite before us, before another holocaust takes place that everybody is predicting now, and only a few did some time ago, is to have divinely called, supernaturally born, spiritually equipped men of unction and power to go forth. We will not default. God help us, we will occupy till he comes.”

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/evangelical-history/70-years-ago-harold-john-ockengas-opening-convocation-address-to-fuller-theological-seminary/

  52. @ Ted:
    He referred to people who pay his six figure salary as rednecks. Where I come from that is impolite and not wise.

    But I will take the Rednecks over him any day of the week.

  53. Bridget wrote:

    No mention of their own mess, but let’s point out what’s going on over there.

    “The accolades that came in earlier today really expressed how Southern Baptists felt about Frank. He is widely loved and appreciated, and seen as a person of great character.” (Ed Stetzer)

    Is that sort of like a standing ovation?

  54. Dave A A wrote:

    I was unaware he almost did fire him a year ago. (re: Page vs. Moore)

    The plot thickens. Mohler, not Page, has been in charge of SBC for the past several years.

  55. Lydia wrote:

    That is the non charismatic form of a standing ovation?

    Yes, sending best wishes is a much more respectful and reverent way to acknowledge a preacher who has failed morally than rising to your feet to applaud him.

    (Lydia, this ain’t your Grandma’s church)

  56. okrapod wrote:

    For myself, I think that people do not have a god-given right or a governmant-given right to demand that other people label themselves, and therefore it is well within the limits of honesty to use whatever word/label works best in whatever circumstance. That is called f*r*e*e*do*m* in my book.

    Totally agree. My guess is a majority of whoever evangelicals are have never heard of Hybels.

  57. Lydia wrote:

    We also know by all of their reform / Neo Cal Partnerships over the last 15 years or so ago they were trying to build a sort of super denomination (TGC/T4G/Acts29,Sojourn,etc) using SBC resources

    The SBC pew ain’t got a clue where their hard-earned tithes have been going. Mainline Southern Baptists are non-Calvinist in belief and practice, but they have been supporting the New Calvinist revolution within their ranks for years. Perhaps some have been uninformed or misinformed, but I believe the SBC masses are willingly ignorant as reformed theology becomes the denominational default … the battle lost, without firing a shot.

  58. Max wrote:

    Does Mahaney have dirt on any of the T4G elite? He’s such an oddball in the midst of all those distinguished men of the cloth.

    That’s what everybody thinks. I also have heard he has some sway over certain publishing contracts, but I don’t really understand how. It is a mystery to me why they protect him so fiercely.

    As for Moore, I think he’s a big phony. I think he is all New Cal patriarchist and the stuff he says is just to trick people into joining New Cal churches and signing those covenants. I didn’t like Land at all, but I do think he was who he was without much pretense.

    I do wonder at Moore’s tactics, though, because it seems like most YRRs are not progressives. It may very well be that he’s angling for something much bigger, like the White House, and then we’ll end up in the Handmaid’s Tale.

  59. Deb wrote:

    @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    Something else to cover. The scandals just keep coming.

    And they are coming thick and fast. It’s unprecedented.

  60. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    he’s not an SJW. Rather, I’d classify him as an opportunist

    I see similarities. One of the major things wrong with the SJW mentality is to feel morally superior, project all that is wrong onto some other group, and take no responsibility yourself for the state of things. This may be a good description of what Moore was doing in his tweet. He is seemingly unaware of the concept of putting your own house in order before venturing out to give advice.

  61. Deb wrote:

    Wait== did TWW put the red T$G circle over CJ’s face or did they?

    We can’t take credit for that.

    I put the T4G emblem over Mahaney!
    Thanks for publishing the article deebs.

  62. Bridget wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    What’s the purpose all of the old liturgical services? It’s to model heaven on earth.

    What? Someone has been to heaven and knows this?

    Yes, Christ. Who gave his apostles the keys to the kingdom. Didn’t you get the memo? 😐

  63. ishy wrote:

    didn’t like Land at all, but I do think he was who he was without much pretense.

    I’ve met Land. He led a three day conference in Louisville that my husband and I attended ……….
    Land would speak to my husband, but not to me (other than to say hello). Sexist, maybe??? snort!

  64. Thersites wrote:

    He is seemingly unaware of the concept of putting your own house in order before venturing out to give advice.

    I think he’s fully cognizant of the things he says. One of the main philosophies of the New Calvinists are “the end justifies the means”, which is why they have no trouble with deceptive church takeovers. I think Moore is doing exactly the same thing, just in politics.

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/a-crash-course-on-influencers-of-unbelief-machiavelli/

  65. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    Evangelicalism is 70 years old. (1947/48 -2018)
    …was born in Southern California, Los Angeles area.
    …is a confederation of militant Fundamentalist.
    …represents a cross-polliniation of multiple Protestant tribes.
    …represents a renewed, and regrouped counterattack in the Fundamentalist – Modernist War,
    previously lost by the Fundamentalist, in the 1920’s.
    …confederate members where embarrassed by, or in disagreement with the separatism, and
    anti- intellectualism of Fundamentalist ideology.
    …is inherently political, and desires social dominance in order to induce external human
    behavioral change.
    …was in part a product of its war time era, and had a war mindset.
    …is entirely dependent upon marshaling resources and mass adherents for social influence.
    …is an evolution of the historical Protestant stream.
    …is a rejection of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
    …desires to seize the Kingdom of God with its leadership as usurpers.

    Harold Ockenga-1947 Fuller Seminary Founding
    “Are you going to do it? Is an untrained man going out? Who is going to occupy until Jesus comes? Listen to me, my friends, the quickest way to evangelize the world, the quickest way to enter the open field, the quickest way to do God’s work in the period of respite before us, before another holocaust takes place that everybody is predicting now, and only a few did some time ago, is to have divinely called, supernaturally born, spiritually equipped men of unction and power to go forth. We will not default. God help us, we will occupy till he comes.”

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/evangelical-history/70-years-ago-harold-john-ockengas-opening-convocation-address-to-fuller-theological-seminary/

    Nothing wrong with working to better world. Not sure why that means siding with the things they do though.

    The Post-Millenialists of the 19th century, along with the Civil Rights era black churches, also wanted to change the world. From there we got the Abolitionists and MLK Jr. The world is much better off for them. But it didn’t have anything to do with power per se.

    But thanks for the primer.. I didn’t know much of that 🙂

  66. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I’ve met Land. He led a three day conference in Louisville that my husband and I attended ……….
    Land would speak to my husband, but not to me (other than to say hello). Sexist, maybe??? snort!

    Oh yeah, he’s not a nice guy. I have met him several times and gone to school with some of his kids. But he isn’t a pretender like the New Cals.

  67. @ Max:
    Last year, Page appointed 18 women to a committee to study how to get women more involved in the SBC. The final report was released last June, followed by ……….. silence.

  68. ishy wrote:

    But he isn’t a pretender like the New Cals.

    True. You certainly know where you stand with Land!

  69. ishy wrote:

    I think he’s fully cognizant of the things he says. One of the main philosophies of the New Calvinists are “the end justifies the means”,

    This is a great point. What is penal substitutionary atonement other than an ends justify the means theory? This atonement theory is so important to them that Piper said that is the number one reason he likes Doug Wilson. Wilson believes God tortures Jesus, so he is a okay with Piper.

  70. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    Evangelicalism is 70 years old. (1947/48 -2018)

    Nathan, I think you’re right about modern evangelicalism having its beginning about 1947-48.

    Billy Graham, allied with Harold Ockenga and Carl Henry, tried to distance the term “evangelical” from the tired and aging “fundamentalist” which was going down too may rabbit trails with their cultural taboos, pre-millennial dispensationalism, suspicion of science and education, etc. Graham et al tried to appeal to a wider following without all the non-essentials to the gospel.

    J.I. Packer, on the other hand, tried to hold the fort and insisted that “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” were one and the same and should not be separated. He lost the argument for about half a century, and the two terms were quite distinct.

    But in my opinion, fundamentalism and evangelicalism have merged once again, perhaps vindicating Packer in a way he hadn’t intended. I have no idea what he thinks of this mess.

    Much earlier, in the 19th and early 20th century, to be evangelical was to be fundamentalist, but that was before the rise of pre-mil dispensationalism and before the 1925 Scopes trial which polarized people for or against evolution. Somewhere in the two decades between Scopes and Billy Graham it became clear that there was a distinction.

    Incidentally, William Jennings Bryan, the lawyer opposed to the teaching of evolution, was considered a leading evangelical in his time, and firm in the “fundamentals” of the faith. But with many others, he was post-millenial, not pre-millennial which has taken over fundamentalism and even evangelicalism ever since.

    Even more off-topic, I consider the new-calvinist movement to be the pre-millennial dispensationalism of our century. God save us.

  71. Lydia wrote:

    He referred to people who pay his six figure salary as rednecks. Where I come from that is impolite and not wise.

    But I will take the Rednecks over him any day of the week.

    ACK! Impolite and very bad judgment.

    I tried to find a reference to that. Both google and yahoo came up short.

  72. I find it funny that a lot of the Post-millenial thought of the old days ended up getting coopted by secular leftists.

    The whole notion of “Progressive” has Christian roots, at least in America. The slow building of God’s kingdom.

    Politicians well into the 20th century picked up on it too (and like I said, the Civil Rights era did as well). I seem to recall a story of Churchill and FDR singing “Onward Christian soldiers” on the deck of a ship… but now I can’t remember the details. But that in itself is a “progressive” and yet very Christian outlook.

    In comparison, I see Evangelicals as much more insular. And when they do want to engage the rest of the world, they’re on the offensive (for better or worse).

  73. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Page had the power to fire Moore.

    As president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, Page could have exerted enormous pressure to oust Moore. Moore’s cal pals (Akin, Lig, Greear, etc) erupted on twitter when it was reported that Page was meeting with Moore, and Page and Moore came out of the meeting “fully supporting” each other, with Page saying that Moore’s employment was up to Moore’s ERLC trustee board:

    http://www.bpnews.net/48493/page-and-moore–we-fully-support-one-another

    “‘I have no authority over Dr. Moore; that is vested in his board of trustees,’ Page said”

    “Ken Barbic, chairman of the ERLC’s board of trustees, told The Post, ‘Russell Moore is a Gospel-centered, faithful, and prophetic voice for Southern Baptists.’ Barbic and the board ‘wholeheartedly support [Moore’s] leadership.'”

    [Ken Barbic is a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church; Barbic’s pastor Mark Dever is a fellow Council member with Russell Moore of calvinist fraternity The Gospel Coalition]

  74. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    I suspect that SGM and Mahaney will NEVER agree to any investigation – EVER.

    I completely agree. After all, why would he agree to it? He has everything to lose and nothing to gain by it. Perhaps if someone from CJ’s inner circle would call for an investigation, it might have some impact. But then again, look what they did to Brent Detwiler. It seems that any whistleblowers will merely be tossed on the heap along with Brent and others. I’m not holding my breath but if God wants it revealed, revealed it will be.

    Great analogy to Chappaquiddick, by the way!

  75. @ Jerome:
    The SBC can never fire Moore. He has been courting media and DC establishment elites for years. They know the minute they fire him there will be lots of Camera time and pieces in WaPo and HuffPo. Moore can do whatever he wants.

  76. @ Ted:
    Try WaPo opinion pieces back to 2015 or it might have been another MSM paper. The reference was for “evangelicals” in a very astute backhanded way so I guess that excludes everyone in the SBC? (Wink) But then he might think they are all illiterate or too redneck to read WaPo?

  77. @ Seraph:
    Sure. And Pravda means “truth”. Orwellian naming games have been around forever. My favorite was a store front church I passed in Tampa named Happy People Gospel Temple.

  78. ishy wrote:

    The New Cals control all the money in the SBC. They are in control of how all the committees vote for that reason.

    And they lead most of SBC entities, including most seminaries, home and foreign mission agencies, ethics commission, publishing house and a growing number of churches. As I’ve noted before, the SBC pew ain’t got a clue that they have financed this shift in theology and drift in ecclesiology. I suppose they don’t really care about such things as theology, as long as you don’t mess with their potluck dinners. The Southern Baptist millions have been easy pickins’ for this onslaught of aberrant belief and practice. A once-great evangelistic denomination is pretty much done.

  79. Ricco wrote:

    @ Thersites:
    Clean your room!! (quoting a now famous Canadian psych professor)

    That’s the only one my teen disagreed with!

  80. Jerome wrote:

    As president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, Page could have exerted enormous pressure to oust Moore.

    As well as Mohler and his band of New Calvinist rebels, if he had really wanted to. IMO, Page left the SBC disgraced because of not only his moral failure, but his failure to protect mainline Southern Baptist belief and practice in the face of the reformed takeover of the denomination. He had the power; he just didn’t use it.

  81. Lydia wrote:

    Moore can do whatever he wants.

    Within SBC ranks, Moore and Mohler are bullet-proof.

    As a side-note, if you Google “Al Mohler Twitter”, “Russel Moore Twitter” pops up right under him. Why? These guys are linked at the hip.

  82. Dave A A wrote:

    Until I googled them together, I was unaware he almost did fire him a year ago. In light of recent events, I imagine Moore’s job was saved by handing Page an envelope with incriminating photos.

    Hmmmm . . .

  83. @ Anonymous Oracle at Delphi:
    Ted’s big punishment was never becoming president. C.J.s big punishment is no stage this year at T4G. Oh the horror.

    I will also add that the media covered for Ted and his bizarre sexual escapades, including an accusation of rape with his nephew, over that 50 years, too.

  84. @ Anonymous Oracle at Delphi:
    Btw, any rational person who values character and integrity and read the email doc dump by Detwiler cannot view Mahaney as having either. I did come across a few guys who admitted they thought he was extremely clever and admired him.

  85. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    @ Max:
    Last year, Page appointed 18 women to a committee to study how to get women more involved in the SBC. The final report was released last June, followed by ……….. silence.

    They’re looking to enslave more women, eh? Are they running out of marriage material? Not enough chattel to offer the wannabe male dominants in return for their loyalty?

    I wonder what the ratio of males to females is in the people leaving the SBC in droves? I wonder if they’re losing more women than men?

    I can’t imagine, at this point in my life, voluntarily subjecting myself to second-class citizenship or even sub-adult or sub-human status in exchange for some specious promise of safety and protection.

    Maybe if enough women come to their senses and leave, the complementarian men will not be able to breed replacements and will die out as the Shakers did.

    Sorry to sound so harsh. I usually try to be “nice.”

  86. I understand how cults get people to get so docile. Christian based groups? Not so much. You have the armor of God, and sword of truth. These aren’t just childish ideas for one of those cheesy Christian cartoons.

  87. Ricco wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I think he’s fully cognizant of the things he says. One of the main philosophies of the New Calvinists are “the end justifies the means”,
    This is a great point. What is penal substitutionary atonement other than an ends justify the means theory? This atonement theory is so important to them that Piper said that is the number one reason he likes Doug Wilson. Wilson believes God tortures Jesus, so he is a okay with Piper.

    Wow. I had not thought of PSA in those terms. It fits!

  88. Also, don’t forget Russ Moore had CJ Mahaney write the forward to a book he republished, “Adopted for Life”. And this was well after we all knew about the scandals at SGM.

  89. Forrest wrote:

    And they are coming thick and fast. It’s unprecedented.

    I suspect it’s always existed but now with the internet it’s much harder to put a lid on it and keep it in house. Although it’s possible that’s worse just because we are living in the age of narcissistic “entitlement” and people with position and power feel entitled to anything they desire… and in their minds there should be no consequences.

  90. Ricco wrote:

    Clean your room!! (quoting a now famous Canadian psych professor)

    So what you’re saying is I can’t say anything unless my room is clean?
    I’ll match you’re meme and raise you one.

  91. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    The people who vouch for Mahaney and defend him, and refuse to even mention or acknowledge the existence of the scandals, play the same role that the national media did for Ted Kennedy for decades

    We have to wait till the movie comes out 8 years after Mahaney passes.

  92. I cannot bring myself to watch this, but the wording on the post makes it look like a set up for justifyng the sins of not yet historical figures: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/albert-mohler-processes-moral-failures-historical-heroes/
    “Albert Mohler—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and TGC Council member—discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.”

    Is the timing coincidental?

  93. refugee wrote:

    Maybe if enough women come to their senses and leave, the complementarian men will not be able to breed replacements and will die out as the Shakers did.

    They need to have a “Wait just a darn minute!” moment and drag their sorry husbands/boy friends out of the New Calvinist mess.

  94. Lydia wrote:

    I agree that he’s an opportunist and i believe totally unprincipled. But I doubt his WaPo and other MSM viewers agree with you. They see him as a PC sjw Christian leader. And that’s all that matters.

    Oh, I’ll agree with that, but that’s because the average WaPo reader doesn’t have the full background. I do and when I see a Russ Moore article on WaPo, I let people know he’s all in on patriarchy.

  95. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I cannot bring myself to watch this, but the wording on the post makes it look like a set up for justifyng the sins of not yet historical figures: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/albert-mohler-processes-moral-failures-historical-heroes/
    “Albert Mohler—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and TGC Council member—discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.”

    Is the timing coincidental?

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.

    So yeah.

  96. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    “Albert Mohler—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and TGC Council member—discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.”

    Is the timing coincidental?

    Mohler always comes forth at times like these to appear as if he is taking the high road to offer wisdom to the church. It’s a slick method to divert attention away from the sins in his New Calvinist camp.

  97. Oh, on a sidenote, I love that Paul even uses the specific language of heroes of the day, to describe a saint..

    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness..”

  98. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I cannot bring myself to watch this, but the wording on the post makes it look like a set up for justifyng the sins of not yet historical figures: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/albert-mohler-processes-moral-failures-historical-heroes/

    I watched the video, only 4 minutes long. It’s a sermonette reminding everyone that various church greats have failed morally. He brought up the sins of David, Abraham, Moses and even Luther (antisemitism). He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind. None of which will go down in church history for their great faith, but their failings.

  99. Mark Dever

    Verified account

    @MarkDever
    Mar 28
    More
    380 years ago today, Anne Hutchinson, convicted for heresy & excommunicated 6 days earlier, leaves the Bay Colony for Rhode Island (1638)

    Does Dever ever make a positive comment/post about women? Odd how he can find the most obscure negative comments around women. I truly think he has an issue with women – like, deeply. The last time we had a pastor that had such obvious issues with women, come to find out, it hit the news that he was soliciting prostitutes.

  100. Deb wrote:

    There’s nothing ‘coincidental’ about anything Al Mohler does. It’s all calculated IMHO.

    No doubt about it. He linked his T4G video on “how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history” to his Twitter account. It has over 4,000 views as young reformers look to Dr. Mohler for a direct word from God on this.

  101. Max wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind.

    Maybe Dr. Mohler is preparing us for when his “feet of clay” are revealed.

  102. Max wrote:

    reminding everyone that various church greats have failed morally. He brought up the sins of David, Abraham, Moses and even Luther (antisemitism). He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind.

    Do Hybels, Mahaney, Page, et al, square with Abraham, Moses, David, etc. (some are listed in Hebrews 11)?

  103. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Maybe Dr. Mohler is preparing us for when his “feet of clay” are revealed.

    My thoughts exactly. Most of the T4G and TGC elites give me the creeps. There’s something there.

  104. JYJames wrote:

    Do Hybels, Mahaney, Page, et al, square with Abraham, Moses, David, etc. (some are listed in Hebrews 11)?

    I suppose ‘they’ think they will be included in an expansion of the Hebrews 11 roll call of faith … I figure they will all slip into obscurity soon.

  105. @ Max:
    The sermonette uses Scripture examples (Abraham, Moses, David – all OT, Father of Israel, Leader of Hebrews out of Egypt, and King) to:

    – illuminate what is happening with the leaders – Hybels, Page, Mahaney – in the church today?

    or

    – confuscate?

    Is there a more appropriate Biblical response to what is happening with today’s said leaders?

  106. Seraph wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    What’s the purpose all of the old liturgical services? It’s to model heaven on earth.

    What? Someone has been to heaven and knows this?

    Yes, Christ. Who gave his apostles the keys to the kingdom. Didn’t you get the memo?

    You really think that Jesus initiated liturgical services on Earth . . . to model heaven on Earth?

  107. Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.

    On behalf of all Baptist, I apologize for not being smart enough to accept Eastern Orthodox teaching (or Roman Catholic teaching, I keep getting them mixed up) as infallible. We are just too stoopid.

  108. refugee wrote:

    I can’t imagine, at this point in my life, voluntarily subjecting myself to second-class citizenship or even sub-adult or sub-human status in exchange for some specious promise of safety and protection.

    You don’t have to live like a refugee (sorry, had to…)

  109. Seraph wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:
    I cannot bring myself to watch this, but the wording on the post makes it look like a set up for justifyng the sins of not yet historical figures: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/albert-mohler-processes-moral-failures-historical-heroes/
    “Albert Mohler—president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and TGC Council member—discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.”
    Is the timing coincidental?
    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.
    So yeah.

    There’s some pretty big generalizations there; inaccurate to be sure, but sweeping nonetheless. And don’t bother breaking them out to any degree; just let your mind-reading and attributions of people’s beliefs hang out there.

  110. Ken P. wrote:

    Seraph wrote:
    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.
    On behalf of all Baptist, I apologize for not being smart enough to accept Eastern Orthodox teaching (or Roman Catholic teaching, I keep getting them mixed up) as infallible. We are just too stoopid.

    At least you apologized for your lack of super-knowledge to which we have been treated in recent days. Maybe you aren’t like all Baptists who “always drag everyone to the gutter” according to the mind-reader and action-attributer du jour.

  111. Deb wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.”

    …… While mere pew peons get “church discipline “!

  112. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.”

    …… While mere pew peons get “church discipline “!

    So where does this lead? Pastor James Flanders of Calvary Chapel Emerald Coast in Fort Walton Beach, FL, had two wives, a “throuple”, until one went missing. King David, or Patriarch Abraham, or Moses (two wives), were his Biblical examples, too. https://www.nbc.com/dateline/video/secrets-on-the-emerald-coast/3675164

    He who preaches the rules, makes the rules?

  113. ION: Travel news

    Today being Good Friday, this morning’s commuter train to Enbruh is almost empty. Bizarrely, it’s also by far the slowest, most signal-delayed journey I’ve ever had going into Enbruh. Just gone under the bypass (and through Enbruh Park) and at the moment we’re braking for yet another cautionary aspect (presumably – I can’t see the signals coming up as I’m on the right-hand side of the train) on the 4-mile, 20-minute crawl into Haymarket.

    IHTIH

  114. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Max wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind.

    Maybe Dr. Mohler is preparing us for when his “feet of clay” are revealed.

    I had that very same thought. The date for this new video is 28 March, so the timing is definitely not coincidental.

  115. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.”

    …… While mere pew peons get “church discipline “!

    You are correct, Nancy. Different rules apply depending on where you are in their hierarchy.

  116. Ken P. wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.

    On behalf of all Baptist, I apologize for not being smart enough to accept Eastern Orthodox teaching (or Roman Catholic teaching, I keep getting them mixed up) as infallible. We are just too stoopid.

    It is worth remembering that the Eastern Orthodox churches are not without their own share of sex scandals, etc. Egos, arrogance, legalism, abuse and manipulation are not restricted to any one belief system.

  117. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.”
    …… While mere pew peons get “church discipline “!

    “Like”

  118. This isn’t about “teaching”. It’s about saints and respecting those who came before you.

    And not letting a preacher like Mohler lower the bar.

    Also, if you’ve paid any attention, one of my favorite saints, who I’ve mentioned in this very thread, is Martin Luther King Jr. A baptist.

    Too bad he’s part of the Baptist wing that was largely ignored, except by the secular world. People almost forget that he was a Christian anymore. Which is a tragedy. But he’s one of the saints, in my eyes.

  119. JDV wrote:

    Ken P. wrote:

    Seraph wrote:
    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.
    On behalf of all Baptist, I apologize for not being smart enough to accept Eastern Orthodox teaching (or Roman Catholic teaching, I keep getting them mixed up) as infallible. We are just too stoopid.

    At least you apologized for your lack of super-knowledge to which we have been treated in recent days. Maybe you aren’t like all Baptists who “always drag everyone to the gutter” according to the mind-reader and action-attributer du jour.

    If I say anything about the Orthodox on this site, it isn’t “super knowledge” on my part. That’s your fault for thinking everything is a matter of personal revelation, and I blame Protestant thinking on that too. You are the ones who are obsessed with individualism and teacher/preacher personalities and new systematic theologies “du jour”. Then you project it on others. Your very post shows me you can’t even conceive of a world without it. But the Orthodox are nothing but the church of the ecumenical councils. They got their “truths” by hashing it out for decades amongst each other. Then they didn’t budge, and gave little room for individuals to do so.

    Now what’s ironic is I got a rise out of you by talking about the type of individuals and personalities we should value: Those who lived good lives. Which has nothing to do with theology. A person could be an illiterate peasant, but still a saint.

  120. @ Seraph:
    “Also, if you’ve paid any attention, one of my favorite saints, who I’ve mentioned in this very thread, is Martin Luther King Jr. A baptist.”

    And also a serial adulterer with his own agenda. It’s time to stop elevating dead people into some form of idols. It seems to me that TWW is here to address the issues caused by people who are not so very different from King.

  121. Seraph wrote:

    This isn’t about “teaching”. It’s about saints and respecting those who came before you.
    And not letting a preacher like Mohler lower the bar.
    Also, if you’ve paid any attention, one of my favorite saints, who I’ve mentioned in this very thread, is Martin Luther King Jr. A baptist.
    Too bad he’s part of the Baptist wing that was largely ignored, except by the secular world. People almost forget that he was a Christian anymore. Which is a tragedy. But he’s one of the saints, in my eyes.

    Wow. Just wow! I have read through these comments and have avoided commenting. But I must say somethng after all. Coming from a background in Roman Catholicism and having spent my adult life in various Baptist churches the one thing I have seen is just how human man is. Man sins. It doesn’t matter whether or not he is a preacher or a pew warmer. He is entirely fallible. And it baffles me why we even have these arguments. Isn’t the only person, dead or alive, worthy of our comparison, Jesus? Isn’t he our plumb line? When we compare anyone to Jesus they will fall short. This talk of saints is quite amusing. How God must be shaking his head from His perfect throne with His Divine wisdom.

    This blog is about shining the light on abuse within churches. This is imperative. Silly academic religious debates prove nothing but our own ignorance of the Truth. Why do we feel the need to prove that our individual views are better than anyone else’s? Talk about pride…

  122. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Max wrote:
    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind.
    Maybe Dr. Mohler is preparing us for when his “feet of clay” are revealed.

    How kind of him to tell his followers what to think beforehand. Sigh. I find it even more interesting that he plays apologetic cop to Moore’s mean cop, occasionally. Hmmm. Note timeline on responses.

  123. @ Seraph:
    It’s interesting to check out what we are called in scripture as followers of Christ: Saints. Jesus even refers to his followers as “friends” and “family”.

  124. Lydia wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Max wrote:
    He cautioned his listeners to be “charitable” as they look at the sins of church leaders – “we all have feet of clay.” Although not named, the timing of this surely had Hybels, Page, and perhaps Mahaney in mind.
    Maybe Dr. Mohler is preparing us for when his “feet of clay” are revealed.

    How kind of him to tell his followers what to think beforehand. Sigh. I find it even more interesting that he plays apologetic cop to Moore’s mean cop, occasionally. Hmmm. Note timeline on responses.

    In my opinion Russell Moore is the creation of and sole responsibility of Albert Mohler. Russell Moore, who I have heard students at SBTS affectionately refer to as “Mini Mo” would probably never have been heard of if not for Albert Mohler. So chalk this guy up to Mohler. Another demerit for the Big Mo.

  125. @ Seraph:
    “You are the ones who are obsessed with individualism and teacher/preacher personalities and new systematic theologies “du jour”. Then you project it on others. Your very post shows me you can’t even conceive of a world without it. But the Orthodox are nothing but the church of the ecumenical councils. They got their “truths” by hashing it out for decades amongst each other. Then they didn’t budge, and gave little room for individuals to do so.”

    IMO, a lack of individualism is the main problem for all people who follow human gurus/spiritual sounding titles. I understand it as “cult of personality” and group think. But then you mention the councils who decided “truth” which only brings you back to the same problem you charge others of having. albeit long ago. No matter the timeline, we all have access to the same Holy Spirit.

  126. About Mohler’s video when talking about people’s feet of clay including biblical and historical and current individuals, first to say that I totally agree with him. In defending my agreement then let me mention the following.

    There are certain logical fallacies to be avoided-not in order to be ‘fair’ but rather in order to not miss some truth which may be being said by being misled due to who said it.

    From the wiki article on list of logical fallacies:

    Under the category of ‘red herring’ fallacies there is the category of ‘ad hominem’ and under the subcategory of ad hominem I want to mention two: (1) poisoning the well and (2) appeal to motive.

    Here is the wiki link for anybody who is as much of a fanatic about this as I seem to be in the process of becoming. But, based on my own early childhood experience of not having been told the truth(s) and based on the fact that we live in an era when ‘truth’ is extremely difficult to pin down I personally think that fanaticisms about logic are one way, but only one way, of hacking one’s way through the jungle of ideas that are out there. At the same time, no one is more convinced of my own inadequacies in this area than I am, obviously, or I would not be going down this road.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

  127. @ Ken A:
    Agree. He was groomed and promoted as a Mohler yes man. However, the protege often seeks to surpass the mentor. Moore has spent considerable time wooing the MSM as a hip SJW Christian. Word here is that if the SBC dared oust him, he had quite a few lined up to give him a platform from WaPo to NPR. He has them by the short hairs and they know it. Moore plays very dirty. He learned from the master —except Moore is not as subtle. He is more Carville than Rove. How do you know when a movement has reached peak? When they game each other.

    Where Jesus Christ is in all this is the real question.

  128. Bridget wrote:

    Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Just as the secular media did with Ted Kennedy for 50 years.

    Ummm . . . is there anything but secular media? But I remember hearing about the incident quite a bit in the media.

    There is the religious media. CT, World Magazine, and many others in all religions.

    Yes, you “heard” about Chappaquiddick, but only in passing, with no judgment attached etc., and with Kennedy being lauded the entire time.

  129. Max wrote:

    Deb wrote:

    There’s nothing ‘coincidental’ about anything Al Mohler does. It’s all calculated IMHO.

    No doubt about it. He linked his T4G video on “how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history” to his Twitter account. It has over 4,000 views as young reformers look to Dr. Mohler for a direct word from God on this.

    Things we learned from Dr. Mohler um-teen years ago when he had a radio program in the local area.
    Don’t let you daughters play with Barbies.
    No woman should ever be married in a strapless wedding dress. (not kidding folks) Women I know were turned away from him forever with those two.
    He also blogged about an ice storm explaining “what we should learn from the ice storm”. Wow! What insight this guy must have. I don’t think so.

  130. @ okrapod:
    Wonder what category Mohlers puts the “9 Marks church discipline” system in when it comes to the leaders “feet of clay”? I think his video was meant for the potential problem of their “different set of rules for thee but not for me”. The old double standard hypocrisy. We have seen it in action quite a bit with these guys over the years.

  131. Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with. They can’t even bring themselves to accept Mary as their Mother, as Jesus instructed all of us through John. They wouldn’t accept the actual and real “Baptist” that matters either (John the Baptist), even though Jesus called him the greatest man born. That’s a hero if there ever was one. And they’d outright ignore the Epistle to the Hebrews, which tells us explicitly to find courage in the “great cloud of witnesses”.

    I have listened to some of what you say and have kept silent only at the cost of great restrain on my part. You know, or should know, that there are excellent arguments which lead to conclusions contrary to those arguments which you have accepted and based on which you are even now exhibiting a seemingly ugly attitude toward persons who are more convinced by the other arguments.

    I have heard the orthodox at the greek orthodox church about a block from my house defend the idea that orthodoxy is the true christianity as opposed to the romans, harking back to the issues at play at the time of the Great Schism. I have heard the romans explain what they mean by ‘saints’ and heard it officially from the romans in RCIA, and it is not the same as what you are seeming to imply. I worship with a group which recognizes some saints, and ‘venerates’ (more like highly respects) Mary and the attitude toward that at our place does not come through like what you are saying.

    At least, if you are going to hurl accusations at other people then cover the subject more adequately instead of just being aggressively passionate about your own take on the issues. Your own aggressive passion is coming through like poorly thought out hostility to some ears (mine for example).

  132. Ken A wrote:

    Russell Moore … “Mini Mo” would probably never have been heard of if not for Albert Mohler. So chalk this guy up to Mohler.

    Make no mistake about it … Al Mohler is still steering Russel Moore.

  133. @ Lydia:

    Perhaps so, but that still does not change the fact that his argument itself may be either accurate or not accurate quite apart from his motivations and quite apart from who said it or who did not.

    I am not advocating for Mohler, or against Mohler. I am saying that an argument stands on its own.

    Either we accept the Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification and therefore expect sinless perfection of people now or else we accept the doctrine of progressive sanctification and do not expect sinless perfection now.

    I don’t know about the rest of humanity, though I have a strongly fixed opinion on the matter, but I know about me, and if we accept sinless perfection now then I might as well just turn my face to the wall and go ahead to ‘eternity’ because I am hopelessly not that-yet.

    So, from both logical reasoning and from personal observation I strongly believe that ad hominem arguments are intrinsically fatally flawed, even if the observations behind them are accurate.

  134. JYJames wrote:

    Is there a more appropriate Biblical response to what is happening with today’s said leaders?

    “They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!” (2 Peter 2:14)

    “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28)

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

    Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because … We Have a Leadership Crisis in the Church.

  135. Ken A wrote:

    He also blogged about an ice storm explaining “what we should learn from the ice storm”.

    Someday, in the ruins of what was a once-great denomination, a Southern Baptist survivor will lament “What we should have learned from allowing Al Mohler to have his way.”

  136. Lydia wrote:

    I think his video was meant for the potential problem of their “different set of rules for thee but not for me”. The old double standard hypocrisy.

    As Mohler looked into camera at the conclusion of his sermonette, he said:

    “Someone in a future generation is going to look at us and be required to make the very same evaluation … probably healthy for us to keep in mind”

    I wonder if Mohler ever personalizes statements like this?

  137. Ken A wrote:

    Things we learned from Dr. Mohler um-teen years ago when he had a radio program in the local area.
    Don’t let you daughters play with Barbies.

    Too funny!
    I sew Barbie clothes with scrap fabric. (Also crochet)
    Not just girlie clothes, either……. I made Barbie camo pants with a matching green hoodie. I’ll bet Maxi Mo would see me as the worst of the heretics!

  138. @ Max:
    It’s all about legacy. And it’s all starting to crumble from many sides. From a purely strategic point of view, his
    protection and promotion of Mahaney (SCL is now SBC! ) was a huge mistake. It’s not going away.

    I thought it would die off and be just one more example of the injustice in Christendom. The Mahaney/Mohler steadfast partnership bromance never made sense to me. Some of it was extremely stupid such as seeking to give the uneducated SGM pastors college attendees college credits. Good thing that got out! His trustees should have fired him over that alone. What was the brilliant scholar thinking? Then we have all the SBTS jobs and perks handed out to the SGM entourage that fled to Louisville with Mahaney.

    Now, an SBTS PhD student’s wife (who happens to be a lawyer) has the media listening to her about the SGM pedohile and abuse scandal. The YRR church she attended tried to silence her. Mohler is trying to balance both sides by congratulating the husband on the Nasser outcome and distance himself from Mahaney on the T4G stage. What tangled webs. In the past, they just ditch problem people and ruin them. Like Debussman. But not Mahaney. There is more to this story, somewhere.

    The foundation is cracking. Mahaney isn’t going anywhere. To quote Mohler about Neo Calvinism: Where can they go?

    Oh, the irony.

  139. Lydia wrote:

    Mahaney on the T4G stage

    Well, the T4G stage should realize by now that the rest of Christendom won’t allow Mahaney back on it! This has to be frustrating for the New Calvinist elite who have had their way until now. I look for them to distance themselves from Mahaney soon, unless he really does have some dirt on them.

  140. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I made Barbie camo pants with a matching green hoodie

    Off subject a bit, but my wife pointed out Ken Doll clothes at Wally World last night … a buffalo plaid shirt and faded jeans … that would be a big hit in Kentucky and go great with your Barbie camo outfit!

    But back to Mohler and Moore … when Lord, when?

  141. @ okrapod:
    I don’t buy into either sinless perfection or the perpetual worm doctrines. Sinless perfection never made sense to me because we are born into corrupted bodies on a corrupted earth. It seems to be a moot charge.

    I do know that Jesus said be perfect like your heavenly father —which from my research seems to mean seek maturity. Easier said than done. But I don’t believe Jesus encouraged people to do anything He knew they were incapable of doing. That’s determinism. Jesus as the bait and switch con man saying ‘repent and believe’ when he well knew not everyone was chosen to be able to do so. I cannot wrap my head around that doctrine.

    Yes,, we all have feet of clay but I prefer not to see it as an excuse for harming others. And to add another piece, Mohler chose to make a public living telling others how to live as Christians.

    The point is not being perfect— but “blameless”.

    I cannot separate the history of Al Mohler from what he says or teaches. Even those I consider to be evil can speak a truth. Thats universal.

    And I don’t view Al Mohler as blameless.

    I might be missing your point. You are often several layers above my thinking ability!

  142. Lydia wrote:

    To quote Mohler about Neo Calvinism: Where can they go?

    They may well chose something with a spelled out theology, a well defined life style, a fellowship with like minded people, a degree of alternative to the dominant culture(s), and a defined purpose for the group be it to win the world for Christ or to be the faithful remnant in an apostate church however defined.

    And I know several paths which include all that to some degree or the other, including the traditional fundamentalisms and the traditional traditionalists of any sort.

  143. Seraph wrote:

    That’s your fault for thinking everything is a matter of personal revelation, and I blame Protestant thinking on that too. You are the ones who are obsessed with individualism and teacher/preacher personalities and new systematic theologies “du jour”. Then you project it on others. Your very post shows me you can’t even conceive of a world without it. But the Orthodox are nothing but the church of the ecumenical councils. They got their “truths” by hashing it out for decades amongst each other. Then they didn’t budge, and gave little room for individuals to do so.

    I don’t think you are understanding this blog and comment section. I haven’t been around that long, but I think I get it. Most of the commenters here are disaffected from their original church/denomination. There is almost always lots of pain associated with those events. Coming on here and telling everyone your church/denomination is the only right one and all the others are garbage smacks of the same prideful certainty that people here are running from and what they are using this site as a refuge from. I’m not saying that is your intent, I’m saying that’s how it sounds.

    I’m a life long Protestant, but I really respect lots of Orthodox theology. What I don’t like is the idea that one tradition has a corner on truth. That attitude, more than the theology behind it, is the real problem with the Neo Cals, as far as I can tell.

    This is just my opinion, but I think it speaks to how to understand this comment section.

    One final thought, on the matter of saints, there is more than one way to honor Christian heros. The Catholic and Orthodox churches do it one way. Just because others don’t do it that same way doesn’t mean they don’t also respect their forefathers/mothers as well.

    Peace

  144. okrapod wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    To quote Mohler about Neo Calvinism: Where can they go?

    They may well chose something with a spelled out theology, a well defined life style, a fellowship with like minded people, a degree of alternative to the dominant culture(s), and a defined purpose for the group be it to win the world for Christ or to be the faithful remnant in an apostate church however defined.

    And I know several paths which include all that to some degree or the other, including the traditional fundamentalisms and the traditional traditionalists of any sort.

    Or the one (actually, from what I’ve seen, quite a few) may leave the faith altogether. Do Mohler and his ilk rejoice over it as they sit smugly gloating over the 99?

  145. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Not to be too picky – but the only group that legally can fire the leader of an SBC entity is the Board of Trustees of that entity.

    This is why I added “kinda sorta”. For all we know, the real boss Mohler could be behind getting his technical boss Page fired- er– retired.

  146. @ Seraph:
    “I don’t expect much from a Baptist, though.”

    Generalize much?

    While I am not a Baptist, I can still be thankful for the Baptist and ex-Baptist commenters at TWW who have commented with wisdom and grace.

    Unlike some other non-Baptist commenter I am thinking of at the moment.

  147. Marky wrote:

    Mahaney is a macho guy that other men apparently, for some reason, look up to, probably wanting his affirmation or something.

    Really?

    these guys must have a different view of what is ‘macho’ than I do.

  148. @ refugee:

    That has been my experience, too, with younger serious people who totally bought in. And there are some former YRR pastors and pastor wives in that experience from my neck of the woods. One due to a horrible inexplicable tragedy with no meaning or justice. The determinist god just becomes evil.

    Gee, in my olden days people just backslided. And we welcomed them back anytime. They did not become serious atheists. I think the all or nothing approach of determinism is a big reason for it in those circles.

  149. refugee wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    “I don’t expect much from a Baptist, though.”

    Generalize much?

    While I am not a Baptist, I can still be thankful for the Baptist and ex-Baptist commenters at TWW who have commented with wisdom and grace.

    Unlike some other non-Baptist commenter I am thinking of at the moment.

    🙂 🙂

  150. Bridget wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    Until I googled them together, I was unaware he almost did fire him a year ago. In light of recent events, I imagine Moore’s job was saved by handing Page an envelope with incriminating photos.

    Hmmmm . . .

    When someone later known to be guilty of vague “indiscretions” does a 180 after a meeting (for the sake of mutual understanding, bridge-building, and fighting the real enemies together) he leaves everything else up to our vain imaginings… This page just about says it all http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/march/russell-moore-job-erlc-southern-baptists-frank-page-trump.html

  151. Max wrote:

    Does Mahaney have dirt on any of the T4G elite? He’s such an oddball

    The adulation does seem odd.

  152. So glad I am not gifted with writing and leading people . It seems that we all muddle along trying to listen to the Holy Spirit when reading God’s Word and seeing every minute how we need Christ . People have tried through the years to be “leaders “ in bringing people to Christ and imparting our view of how to live the life . I know I try to look to others who seem successful instead of looking into Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. What a wonderful reminder as we celebrate He is risen indeed that all of us might think Christianity is in peril but what is really in peril is our lack to repent by worshiping the creature rather than the creator . What wonderful assurance I have in knowing I will fail, personality base Church will fail , catchy slogans , the right music , and all man made attempts to make the gospel more appealing will fail but Christ IS gathering from every tongue , tribe and nation a people for Himself . In Christ alone our hope is found .

  153. Dave A A wrote:

    The adulation does seem odd.

    “Mohler’s stack of books is bigger than yours!”

    “A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet” (Prov. 29:5)

    “With flattering lips and a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:2)

    “By smooth talk and flattery they deceive” (Rom. 16:18)

    “They are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage” (Jude 1:16)

  154. I don’t understand what Moore is referring to in his Twitter statement. Is it a) because people have accused Hybels of misconduct or b) because of Hybels’ alleged misconduct? Where does Moore stand?

  155. Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though. They already drag everyone to the gutter and never believed in a tradition of saints to begin with.

    This is…rude.

    Baptists ‘drag everyone to the gutter’? Ugh.

  156. Seraph wrote:

    Now what’s ironic is I got a rise out of you by talking about the type of individuals and personalities we should value

    No, but given your errantly presumptive apparent mind-reading exercises, more of the same isn’t a shock. The following statement, which wasn’t even worthy of trolling but was stunning enough in a comments section usually full of intelligent discourse, prompted the response concerning ‘Baptists’: “They already drag everyone to the gutter”.

    Equally jaw-dropping was your then turning around and giving this assessment of a member of the “Baptist” group that drags EVERYONE to the gutter: “Also, if you’ve paid any attention, one of my favorite saints, who I’ve mentioned in this very thread, is Martin Luther King Jr. A baptist. Too bad he’s part of the Baptist wing that was largely ignored, except by the secular world. People almost forget that he was a Christian anymore. Which is a tragedy. But he’s one of the saints, in my eyes.”

    So using the syllogistic logic that your sweeping generalizations demand, here’s what you’ve publicly presented: A Baptist who already drags everyone into the gutter, accept the “‘Baptist’ that matters”, ignores the Epistle to the Hebrews and ‘clouds of witnesses’ — yet is “one of the saints, in your eyes”. Remarkable.

    And lest a “here’s what my sweeping generalization really meant” is offered, the disclaimer of a “Baptist wing” isn’t provided for in the sweeping generalization concerning Baptists in the initial ‘rise’ post, further eroding salient or rational points apparently hoped to be gleaned from it and illustrating why the post gained said ‘rise’ from me and others.

    And if this is what you’re going to serve up, I don’t know that posters will continue to engage in the back-and-forth. What seals the deal is most of this comments section is full of the fallout from another sweeping generalization offered from your corner about a group of people, with posters referencing you in a “record for thread derailment”. Thus, this is offered to show the logical fails in two consecutive posts of yours, which is sufficient to show why I and others may pause — for now — in any back and forth.

  157. Mary Ann Carpenter wrote:

    So glad I am not gifted with writing and leading people . It seems that we all muddle along trying to listen to the Holy Spirit when reading God’s Word and seeing every minute how we need Christ . People have tried through the years to be “leaders “ in bringing people to Christ and imparting our view of how to live the life . I know I try to look to others who seem successful instead of looking into Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. What a wonderful reminder as we celebrate He is risen indeed that all of us might think Christianity is in peril but what is really in peril is our lack to repent by worshiping the creature rather than the creator . What wonderful assurance I have in knowing I will fail, personality base Church will fail , catchy slogans , the right music , and all man made attempts to make the gospel more appealing will fail but Christ IS gathering from every tongue , tribe and nation a people for Himself . In Christ alone our hope is found .

    amen.

  158. Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though.

    “Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)

  159. Max wrote:

    Evangelicalism is in a Time of Great Peril Because … We Have a Leadership Crisis in the Church

    … “A Time of Great Peril” … as we witness The Great Refusal – refusing to follow after God Himself via His Word and His Holy Spirit. No mediator, what Jesus died for, we have direct access to God via Jesus.

    Instead, there are men steering men, adulation, Real Bosses, and looking to a man leader for a “direct” word from God:

    – “Make no mistake about it … Al Mohler is still steering Russell Moore.”
    – “Does Mahaney have dirt on any of the T4G elite? He’s such an oddball. The adulation does seem odd.”
    – “… the real boss Mohler could be behind getting his technical boss Page fired- er– retired.”
    – “It has over 4,000 views as young reformers look to Dr. Mohler for a direct word from God on this.”

  160. @ Mary Ann Carpenter:
    I, too, looked to others who seemed successful. For years.

    Your comment (the part about catchy slogans and music and man made attempts) reminded me strongly of Paul’s reference to clanging cymbals. “If I have not love…”

    I think it’s been noted in many previous comments on this blog that the New Reformers especially seem to be lacking in love. Or they’ve redefined the term in a way that takes away all the biblical meaning of the word.

  161. Ricco wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    That’s your fault for thinking everything is a matter of personal revelation, and I blame Protestant thinking on that too. You are the ones who are obsessed with individualism and teacher/preacher personalities and new systematic theologies “du jour”. Then you project it on others. Your very post shows me you can’t even conceive of a world without it. But the Orthodox are nothing but the church of the ecumenical councils. They got their “truths” by hashing it out for decades amongst each other. Then they didn’t budge, and gave little room for individuals to do so.

    I don’t think you are understanding this blog and comment section. I haven’t been around that long, but I think I get it.

    Bah. Typical of all the whiners and losers on this blog. Someone comes along and has the good grace to smack all your faces with the truth, as handed down to all of us by God through Saint Bogbrush, and what do you do? Whine like losers. At least Sherpa was honest enough to point out that it was all your fault.

    You’re all rubbish.

    Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  162. JDV wrote:

    And if this is what you’re going to serve up, I don’t know that posters will continue to engage in the back-and-forth.

    That’s because they’re rubbish.

    Further Up Yours,

    Roger Bombast

  163. refugee wrote:

    Or the one (actually, from what I’ve seen, quite a few) may leave the faith altogether. Do Mohler and his ilk rejoice over it as they sit smugly gloating over the 99?

    People do indeed become nones and/or dones, but there is an angle to that which has not been discussed to my knowledge here, at least recently. Is it really a bad thing for people to be forced to re-evaluate things like job, marriage, parenting, religion and politics? Perhaps they always were a ‘none’ who just happened to be hanging around church for socializing or contacts or to enjoy the stage show. Perhaps the best thing for some people is to have all that collapse for them and for them to have to re-think everything.

    At the risk of being accused of clobbering with individual sentences perhaps they left ‘us’ because they never were part of ‘us’ and perhaps that may be because the church has two sets of ‘us’, believers and those who hang around but are not believers. Perhaps it can be good for both sets of ‘us’ to be shaken out of our customary ways and step back and take another look at ourselves.

  164. Ken A wrote:

    Things we learned from Dr. Mohler

    Overreach. But then that’s what these guys are all about. They wouldn’t have it any other way. They love their hierarchal pyramid as opposed to meeting others on level ground, at the foot of the Cross, what Jesus died and rose for.

    The Administrative Gift is organizing, not dominating.

  165. Seraph wrote:

    I don’t expect much else from a Baptist though.

    Neither do I. They’re all rubbish.

    Up Everybody’s,

    Roger Bombast

  166. @ okrapod:
    Perhaps. But it still seems grievous to me that Mohler appears to be rejoicing over the lost sheep. Not the finding of the lost sheep.

    His smug, arrogant tone sounds more like the false shepherds in the biblical account than it reflects the true Shepherd of the promise.

  167. refugee wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    Perhaps. But it still seems grievous to me that Mohler appears to be rejoicing over the lost sheep. Not the finding of the lost sheep.

    His smug, arrogant tone sounds more like the false shepherds in the biblical account than it reflects the true Shepherd of the promise.

    Another thought that I haven’t quite been able to formulate, but his “Where else can they go?” smacks of a lazy shepherd sitting safe and comfortable by the hearth, expecting any wayward sheep to find their own way through the storm and howling wilderness to the fold.

    Not that I would dignify him by calling him a shepherd at all, mind.

  168. @ okrapod:
    I believe taking stock is healthy, regardless of the system. Grappling with ideas, beliefs, customs, etc allows us to grow and embrace what we value, discard those things which do not fit quite right anymore. I’m not sure our decisions are always the best but being honest about where we are leads us to make choices. Some of those choices bring growth. Other choices are perhaps considered mistakes. But aren’t We human? To stay stuck is a slow death.

    To those of who are “done”, perhaps we are leaving the lie for the truth. Perhaps the status quo is what we are accustomed to but what was never the truth. Just thinking out loud.

  169. To Priddis (or anyone):

    How exactly is evangelicalism “a rejection of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.” I know certain strains of it (MacArthur) could be so accused. Could it be said to be so at the beginning? If so how? Many evangelicals would probably laugh at such a characterization (or shake their heads or get mad, etc.)

  170. Ricco wrote:

    One final thought, on the matter of saints, there is more than one way to honor Christian heros. The Catholic and Orthodox churches do it one way. Just because others don’t do it that same way doesn’t mean they don’t also respect their forefathers/mothers as well.

    Yes.

    This come up many times, and I think it’s worth repeating for those in the back.

  171. Mercy wrote:

    To those of who are “done”, perhaps we are leaving the lie for the truth. Perhaps the status quo is what we are accustomed to but what was never the truth. Just thinking out loud.

    Could be. I imagine that would depend on what one is done with.

  172. refugee wrote:

    Perhaps. But it still seems grievous to me that Mohler appears to be rejoicing over the lost sheep. Not the finding of the lost sheep.

    His smug, arrogant tone sounds more like the false shepherds in the biblical account than it reflects the true Shepherd of the promise.

    I have certainly encountered that attitude from YRR. They fervently believed God saved only a very small group of people and by following the New Calvinist “way”, you were proving you were part of that elected group.

    It does make me wonder about the type of person that is attracted to that theology. Though, I think this type of theology is just the next generation of hellfire and brimstone. They pretend to be all stately and intellectual, but they can’t quite contain their glee in announcing, “God elected the rest for hell.”

  173. @ ishy:

    One issue relates to this, I am thinking. Is everybody a sheep? Is everybody who investigates christianity and finds it wanting one of the sheep who got lost?

    If not everybody is defined as one of the Lord’s sheep it could be due to election or could be the individual choice of the person depending on one’s theology on that point, but either way not everybody who leaves the fold, so to speak, could be called one of the sheep who got lost.

    I can’t get past the recurring use of the idea by Jesus concerning those whom the Father gives him, and the not losing any of those whom the Father gave him. That does not sound all that inclusive of the general population.

    This whole issue of who is meant by use of the word ‘sheep’ seems to vary from one person to another who use the term.

    Any thoughts on that?

  174. okrapod wrote:

    Is everybody a sheep?

    I’ve been thinking all those parables about wheat and chaff, and sowing seeds in rocky soil or good soil, and taking care of all the field because you might hurt the good crops trying to get rid of the bad, are instructive here.

    I would say more but I’m still ruminating on all of it. 99/1 is a good story, but it’s not the only story.

  175. Dave A A wrote:

    Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    Not to be too picky – but the only group that legally can fire the leader of an SBC entity is the Board of Trustees of that entity.

    This is why I added “kinda sorta”. For all we know, the real boss Mohler could be behind getting his technical boss Page fired- er– retired.

    Mary Kenny Branson wrote a book years back called “Spending God’s Money”. She worked for the IMB. She talks about Trustees in her book as pastors who come for the dog and pony show, good food and hotel. They are pretty easy for the entity heads to control. My guess is that shifted to more like “What does Mohler think”?

  176. Anonymous Oracle at Delphi wrote:

    The failure of Moore and others in the same orbit to even comment or acknowledge the scandal, or to even list sex abuse in churches as a major ethical issue in terms of prevalence or scope (not in terms of seriousness) will not change.

    Sex abuse and domestic violence is not a major ethical issue for them, as you so state. They institute patriarchy and then handwave the fall out. Deal with it ladies, move on children. These “leaders” would rather argue their “theology” day and night, books and conferences, than address abuse.

    Not a Biblical scholar here, but Jesus had similar issues with the religious leaders of His time. Further back in history, the OT prophets also spoke up about how the pious neglected the widows and orphans while God found their sacrifices (religious practices) unacceptable.

  177. okrapod wrote:

    @ ishy:

    One issue relates to this, I am thinking. Is everybody a sheep? Is everybody who investigates christianity and finds it wanting one of the sheep who got lost?

    If not everybody is defined as one of the Lord’s sheep it could be due to election or could be the individual choice of the person depending on one’s theology on that point, but either way not everybody who leaves the fold, so to speak, could be called one of the sheep who got lost.

    I can’t get past the recurring use of the idea by Jesus concerning those whom the Father gives him, and the not losing any of those whom the Father gave him. That does not sound all that inclusive of the general population.

    This whole issue of who is meant by use of the word ‘sheep’ seems to vary from one person to another who use the term.

    Any thoughts on that?

    When one of the sheep leaves a false *church* or is thrown out of same, they have not left the real church, the body of believers. They remain part of the body.

  178. @ Max:

    Max, let’s add this one to it:

    “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
    — Jesus of Nazareth —

  179. @ JYJames:
    JY, it continues to amaze me that so many young folks have been duped by New Calvinism and its cast of leaders. The YRR don’t have a lick of discernment or enough common sense to see through the deception. When the bubble breaks (it will), tens of thousands of young reformers will be left disillusioned … a great time for the Gospel to reach them, if we can find enough preachers who can keep their pants on long enough!

  180. okrapod wrote:

    I can’t get past the recurring use of the idea by Jesus concerning those whom the Father gives him, and the not losing any of those whom the Father gave him. That does not sound all that inclusive of the general population.

    My pastor mentioned this in the Good Friday service earlier and suggested he was talking about losing the 12 disciples physically until the point of being arrested in the garden–they were still alive and physically with Him. In the passage in John in the garden of Gesthemene He offers Himself up and says not to take the disciples. In other words, “I have kept them alive.” I had never heard it that way, but it does seem like one way to understand it.

  181. To put it another way–the Jews expected a Messiah who would start a war and overthrow the Romans. Jesus took a totally different path to the Messiah than they expected by surrendering Himself for everyone else.

  182. Max wrote:

    When the bubble breaks (it will), tens of thousands of young reformers will be left disillusioned … a great time for the Gospel to reach them, if we can find enough preachers who can keep their pants on long enough!

    In the meantime, we can put this to prayer. Talking point with God. Thanks, Max, for this insight. Opportunity. Hope. And the Power of God.

  183. ishy wrote:

    I had never heard it that way, but it does seem like one way to understand it.

    It does seem reasonable that he meant the twelve. That idea of not having lost one of those whom the Father gave him. is going to have to quit being used in sermons about eternal security if that is what he meant. But when he said ‘except…’ and was talking about Judas one has to re-think the idea from not having lost any to not having lost most-which would mean that not all who appear to follow Jesus could be said to be among those who were not lost in the process.

    But it is funny about Judas who on the one hand was said to have been a thief all along and on the other hand the story in John included the idea that Satan entered into Judas at the last supper. Sounds kind of contradictory sort of. But if Jesus described Judas as having been lost, from among those the Father gave him, and that is how it is written in English, can this be used in some discussion about whether apostasy can actually happen-again back to the issue of eternal security or not. Can one whom the Father gave Jesus eventually be lost-in the words of scripture it would seem possibly so, as indicated when Jesus said ‘except’.

    I need a nap, obviously.

  184. @ okrapod:

    Sounds like Jesus was refuting the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Jesus refuted it again (and refuted the Calvinistic theory of irresistible grace) in Matt 23:37.

  185. ishy wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    these guys must have a different view of what is ‘macho’ than I do.

    Well, I guess when compared to John Piper….

    Hey I resemble that remark…
    The previous one about looking up to the Ceej– did they mean that literally?

  186. refugee wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    @ okrapod:
    Perhaps. But it still seems grievous to me that Mohler appears to be rejoicing over the lost sheep. Not the finding of the lost sheep.
    His smug, arrogant tone sounds more like the false shepherds in the biblical account than it reflects the true Shepherd of the promise.
    Another thought that I haven’t quite been able to formulate, but his “Where else can they go?” smacks of a lazy shepherd sitting safe and comfortable by the hearth, expecting any wayward sheep to find their own way through the storm and howling wilderness to the fold.
    Not that I would dignify him by calling him a shepherd at all, mind.

    Hireling.

  187. Dee and Deb – Did you look much at that guy who wrote the “discernment” article you linked to…Peter Ditzel? He makes Piper and the other T4G look almost moderate.

    “when Paul says that women are to be silent in the assemblies, he is not saying they must be silent simply because they are in a building called a “church.” Women are to be silent in the assembly or meeting during which the men are to pray and teach (see 1 Timothy 2:8-12). Prayer meetings and classes (such as Sunday School classes and Bible studies) apart from the meetings of the ekklēsia are totally foreign to the Bible…
    To attend such unbiblical things as prayer meetings, Sunday School classes, and Bible studies when you know the truth will put you into an impossible catch-22 situation. Women are to be silent, not teach, and not audibly pray in the assemblies of the saints. Yet, in meetings called “prayer meetings” and “Sunday Schools” and “Bible studies,” where prayers are spoken and the Bible discussed with those very same saints, women are expected to announce prayer requests, pray, answer Bible questions, make other comments, and even teach…In reality, prayer, teaching, and Bible study should take place in the regular meetings of the ekklēsia, during which the women are to be silent.”

    From his explanation of 1 Cor. 14: “the remedy is that one person should speak at a time, not more than three people should be allowed to speak in one service, and women should be silent. Concerning the women, from this context, we see that their silence means that they are not to sing in church outside of congregational singing (no “special music”), they are not to teach, they are not to speak in tongues, they are not to bring a revelation, they are not to interpret a tongue, and they are not to judge the speaking.”

    From his explanation of 1 Timothy 2: “But why should Eve’s being beguiled in the Garden of Eden cause Paul to say that women should be silent in church? The answer must be that women in general have a tendency to be more easily duped than men. Because of this tendency, they are not to be teachers, or preachers, or hold an office (which implies authority) in church.”

  188. Muzjik wrote:

    their silence means that they are not to sing in church outside of congregational singing

    (Quoting Mr Ditzel)
    I challenge Mr Ditzel to find a biblical exception for “congregational singing”. Let the women listen to the men sing. Silent means silent. And if your church has one of those “greet someone near you” times, the women should just smile and nod. And no whispering to the kids to get them to behave. Silent means silent. And if the old goat wants to abuse her in the ecclesia for a season (as long as he’s not asking her to sin) none of that crying out stuff.

  189. Muzjik wrote:

    Women are to be silent, not teach, and not audibly pray in the assemblies of the saints. Yet, in meetings called “prayer meetings” and “Sunday Schools” and “Bible studies,” where prayers are spoken and the Bible discussed with those very same saints,

    Did you catch that??? Women can’t be saints!

  190. Nathan Priddis wrote:

    Harold Ockenga-1947 Fuller Seminary Founding
    “Who is going to occupy until Jesus comes? … to have divinely called, supernaturally born, spiritually equipped men of unction and power to go forth. We will not default. God help us, we will occupy till he comes.”

    Interesting, Nathan Priddis – your entire comment.

    As to Ockenga – Where is occupation, since Jesus, in the Bible? Other than the Holy Spirit occupying our hearts as individuals with agency, emitting the fruit of the Spirit.

    The nine plus one red circle in the post photo above, seem to collaborate and occupy in interests other than allegiance to Jesus and His cause, His method (love). Their interest may possibly be more self (collectively, selves).

  191. Avid Reader wrote:

    the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Is it a false doctrine? I used to think so, until I read some church history. Gregory of Nyssa was one of the most important 4th century theologians. He was a key player in the 2nd ecumenical council where the Nicean Creed was finalized. He was a also a full on universalist. If universalism is a false doctrine I would think that he would have been condemned. But he wasn’t. Also, the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism. This does not establish universalism as true, but it does suggest that we should not be quick to dismiss it as false or to label universalists as heretics.

  192. Hopeful Reminder to get back on track… the Church must get her house in order….

    Christianity’s High View of Women
    BY NANCY PEARCY
    “Sexual hedonism is another expression of a low view of women. In ancient Greek and Roman culture, it was widely accepted that husbands would have sex with mistresses, concubines, slaves, and prostitutes (both male and female). An ancient Athenian saying was, “Wives are for legal heirs, prostitutes are for pleasure.” In Rome, the taxes collected from prostitution constituted a significant portion of the royal treasury. (This may be one reason Jesus hung out with prostitutes: There were so many of them!)

    By contrast, the church fathers wrote sermons urging husbands not to have sex with slaves or prostitutes. These practices were not easy to eradicate. In the fourth century, John Chrysostom was still preaching on why it’s not okay for married men to have sex with their slaves. An ancient Christian treatise on the sufferings endured by married women included the “humiliation” of being replaced by servants in their husbands’ affections.

    And what about the humiliation of those female servants who were coerced into sexual slavery? In Roman culture, sexual violence against poor and powerless women was widely accepted. Because they were regarded as social non-persons, they were not thought to have any legal rights that could be violated. Beginning in the fifth century, Christian leaders finally began to wield enough political influence to pass laws against sexual slavery. The church fathers called it “coerced sin.” How could the church preach against sexual sin when many women (and men) had no choice? For a slave to resist the sexual advances of her or his master meant death. One historian notes that the most reliable index of the Christianization of an ancient society was the recognition of the injustice of sexual slavery. “Because prostitution was at the center of an ancient sexual culture . . . the progressive realization of its injustice is a privileged index of Christianization.”

    Let that historical fact sink in: *The* most reliable index of how deeply Christianity had permeated a society was whether it outlawed sexual slavery. Today, as sex slavery and sex trafficking are again becoming widespread, modern Christians must recover their rich moral and humanitarian heritage. As the Western world sinks back into pre-Christian morality, followers of Jesus must once again become countercultural.”

    —–

    Excerpt from Love Thy Body.

  193. okrapod wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I had never heard it that way, but it does seem like one way to understand it.
    It does seem reasonable that he meant the twelve. That idea of not having lost one of those whom the Father gave him. is going to have to quit being used in sermons about eternal security if that is what he meant. But when he said ‘except…’ and was talking about Judas one has to re-think the idea from not having lost any to not having lost most-which would mean that not all who appear to follow Jesus could be said to be among those who were not lost in the process.
    But it is funny about Judas who on the one hand was said to have been a thief all along and on the other hand the story in John included the idea that Satan entered into Judas at the last supper. Sounds kind of contradictory sort of. But if Jesus described Judas as having been lost, from among those the Father gave him, and that is how it is written in English, can this be used in some discussion about whether apostasy can actually happen-again back to the issue of eternal security or not. Can one whom the Father gave Jesus eventually be lost-in the words of scripture it would seem possibly so, as indicated when Jesus said ‘except’.
    I need a nap, obviously.

    Here’s this from John 6:70-71 (apparently well before Gethsemane) — “Jesus answered them, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. For although Judas was one of the Twelve, he was later to betray Jesus.”

  194. ishy wrote:

    To put it another way–the Jews expected a Messiah who would start a war and overthrow the Romans. Jesus took a totally different path to the Messiah than they expected by surrendering Himself for everyone else.

    Not exactly. The Jews actually expected two different Messiahs. Messiah Ben David (the warrior) and Messiah ben Joseph (the Craftsman). It’s still taught to this day in their Talmud, and also been rediscovered in the “Gabriel Stone”, which might be the earliest (pre Christian) talk of a Messiah son of Joseph…..who, get this… was to die and rise from the dead 🙂 The Rabbinic teachings just said ben Joseph dies, but that’s the first talk of him also rising.

    Messiah ben Joseph is typified by Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers, became as powerful as a Pharaoh, and instead rescued the Gentiles from famine.

    He is how the Jews interpreted the seemingly contradictory nature of a Conquering Davidic King with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah.

    The two are also the completion of all of Israel and Judah’s dynasties. That of Israel/Ephraim in the North and Judah in the South. David could never be the complete picture of the ideal Israelite King. It has to be both.

    The Talmudic tradition also speaks of the “Four Craftsman” from Zechariah:

    “Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it. – Zech 2:1-4

    The 4 Craftsman in the Talmud are Messiah ben David, Messiah ben Joseph, Elijah, and “the Righteous Priest”. All four were to usher in the age of the Messianic kingdom. Messiah ben Joseph was to be a “craftsman” who would “rebuild the temple”, but be killed by the enemies of God. After that, Jews would suffer for an indefinite time, until Messiah ben David comes and brings vengeance.

    Where Jews got it wrong is not realizing that Messiah ben David and Messiah ben Joseph are the same man. One man, but two advents. By contrast, this is reflected everywhere in the NT among Christian believers. They were the Jews who realized this.

    Perhaps Jews also, being Temple centric at the time, couldn’t wrap their head around a “Messiah ben Joseph” who cursed Jerusalem and the Temple. They expected a “Craftman”. This may have been a big motive for killing Jesus, once he said this. Some might’ve believed in him until he said that.

    But to Christians, the rebuilt Temple was the Church and body of Christ.

    BTW, the “righteous priest” in the Zechariah prophecy is Melchizedek.

  195. Washington Post article Friday:

    “There’s a reckoning taking place across evangelicalism right now,” said Russell Moore, who leads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and compared recent events to those scandals of the 1980s. Moore said the #MeToo movement has ushered a “welcome development in American culture toward believing women who have been harmed. I also think there’s a growing — but not fast enough — realization in church life of the way that power can easily be abused in predatory ways, especially spiritual power.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/30/in-an-age-of-trump-and-stormy-daniels-evangelical-leaders-face-sex-scandals-of-their-own/?utm_term=.2058d250eb23

  196. okrapod wrote:

    Mercy wrote:
    To those of who are “done”, perhaps we are leaving the lie for the truth. Perhaps the status quo is what we are accustomed to but what was never the truth. Just thinking out loud.
    Could be. I imagine that would depend on what one is done with.

    If one accepts that Jesus set up a Church comprising all believers and that denominations which meet in buildings are man made then it changes one’s perceptions.

  197. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Avid Reader wrote:

    the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Is it a false doctrine? I used to think so, until I read some church history. Gregory of Nyssa was one of the most important 4th century theologians. He was a key player in the 2nd ecumenical council where the Nicean Creed was finalized. He was a also a full on universalist. If universalism is a false doctrine I would think that he would have been condemned. But he wasn’t. Also, the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism. This does not establish universalism as true, but it does suggest that we should not be quick to dismiss it as false or to label universalists as heretics.

    According to universalism, every abuser, child rapist, etc, who has ever died is now in heaven and has been reconciled to God. I have a hard time reconciling that view with Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2.

  198. @ Ted:
    I take it you are in agreement with Moore on the Nashville statement from August 2017?

    Yet, Moore ignores Mahaney, his own years of Patriarchy, Juanita Broderick and all those victims who were intimidated for years.

    He has an agenda. He has PC victims. He is a fraud. When he writes about his patriarchy in the Washington post, I will give him credit

  199. Forrest wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Avid Reader wrote:

    the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Is it a false doctrine? I used to think so, until I read some church history. Gregory of Nyssa was one of the most important 4th century theologians. He was a key player in the 2nd ecumenical council where the Nicean Creed was finalized. He was a also a full on universalist. If universalism is a false doctrine I would think that he would have been condemned. But he wasn’t. Also, the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism. This does not establish universalism as true, but it does suggest that we should not be quick to dismiss it as false or to label universalists as heretics.

    According to universalism, every abuser, child rapist, etc, who has ever died is now in heaven and has been reconciled to God. I have a hard time reconciling that view with Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2.

    That’s the first time I’ve seen universalism applied on an ethical level.

    Doctrinally, I wish to celebrate Christ with all kinds of people.

    I got a bit annoyed earlier when thinking how we all don’t share common history.. and I was uncharitable and sloppy in explaining that. But I wouldn’t doubt people’s core faith. Some inspire me greatly.

  200. Forrest wrote:

    According to universalism, every abuser, child rapist, etc, who has ever died is now in heaven and has been reconciled to God. I have a hard time reconciling that view with Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2.

    I’m not saying that I like universalism or that I find it fair. Rather, I am saying that it is a view that can be supported both biblically and historically, and that we should therefore not automatically dismiss all universalists as heretics. A couple of years ago I heard Robin Parry describe it – he makes a very compelling case. Here is an interesting article on his view: http://www.rethinkinghell.com/2016/06/a-response-to-four-views-on-hell-pt-3-robin-parry-on-universalism/. I suppose the question for us is whether or not we want to see all people restored to God in a way that will make sense, or whether we want many people to be forever excluded from any possible restoration. I don’t think we can say with certainty that it must be one way or the other.

  201. Seraph wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Avid Reader wrote:

    the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Is it a false doctrine? I used to think so, until I read some church history. Gregory of Nyssa was one of the most important 4th century theologians. He was a key player in the 2nd ecumenical council where the Nicean Creed was finalized. He was a also a full on universalist. If universalism is a false doctrine I would think that he would have been condemned. But he wasn’t. Also, the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism. This does not establish universalism as true, but it does suggest that we should not be quick to dismiss it as false or to label universalists as heretics.

    According to universalism, every abuser, child rapist, etc, who has ever died is now in heaven and has been reconciled to God. I have a hard time reconciling that view with Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2.

    That’s the first time I’ve seen universalism applied on an ethical level.

    Doctrinally, I wish to celebrate Christ with all kinds of people.

    I got a bit annoyed earlier when thinking how we all don’t share common history.. and I was uncharitable and sloppy in explaining that. But I wouldn’t doubt people’s core faith. Some inspire me greatly.

    The word ‘unrepentant’ was implied rather than stated.

  202. @ AJ:
    Thanks so much for the excerpt. We often don’t see the important historical context with our post enlightenment eyes and the impact Christianity had. One of my favorite books is Philemon because it gives us a glimpse into that context.

    You wrote:
    “John Chrysostom was still preaching on why it’s not okay for married men to have sex with their slaves. An ancient Christian treatise on the sufferings endured by married women included the “humiliation” of being replaced by servants in their husbands’ affections.”

    When I was researching the definition of “Authenteo” used in Ephesians, it was hard because it was rarely used in a religious context while there were more secular examples that did not fit how it was translated. Chrysostom used it in one of his homilies imploring husbands not to authenteo their wives. What a find. So, we know the translators got that one very wrong. It’s not authority over but more of a “compelling someone to do wrong”. Both men and women can do it to each other. Also made more sense in context of Ephesus and the huge Diana fertility temple cult which claimed to help women not die in childbirth.

  203. @ Seraph:
    I have always put Universalism in the determinist God category. I don’t see the difference, foundationally. It sounds nicer than Calvinism, though.

  204. Lydia wrote:

    I have always put Universalism in the determinist God category. I don’t see the difference, foundationally. It sounds nicer than Calvinism, though.

    That’s a very good point. The question is whether or not we each have a real choice in the matter. I like Baxter Kruger’s statement on it: https://www.perichoresis.org/universalism/

  205. Well, that I do not believe. That isn’t what Christ taught either. Some people were condemned in his words.

    At the same time, there is something to be said for “purging” too. You don’t have to believe in purgatory or anything like that.. Not a “place”, but maybe a state some of us may be subjected to. For Jesus did say things like “Amen, I tell you, you shall not be released until you have paid the last penny”.

    I don’t think it’s very astute to simply ignore a statement like that. But also not right to ignore the myriad examples of the fiery pit for some.. or worse, the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (one could argue on what that even is though).

  206. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Kruger writes:

    “. I think we have every reason to hope for everyone to come to know the truth so as to experience salvation. But to make such a hope an absolute fact, or a conclusion, or a doctrine is, to me, a mistake. That would be to deny, theologically speaking, the authenticity of our personhood and our real freedom to participate. “

    Yes! It’s hope. Not “fact”. My big problem was it worked to undermine human volition in the end. No repentance necessary. God will force it.

  207. Forrest wrote:

    Seraph wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Avid Reader wrote:

    the false doctrine of Universalism.

    Is it a false doctrine? I used to think so, until I read some church history. Gregory of Nyssa was one of the most important 4th century theologians. He was a key player in the 2nd ecumenical council where the Nicean Creed was finalized. He was a also a full on universalist. If universalism is a false doctrine I would think that he would have been condemned. But he wasn’t. Also, the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism. This does not establish universalism as true, but it does suggest that we should not be quick to dismiss it as false or to label universalists as heretics.

    According to universalism, every abuser, child rapist, etc, who has ever died is now in heaven and has been reconciled to God. I have a hard time reconciling that view with Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2.

    That’s the first time I’ve seen universalism applied on an ethical level.

    Doctrinally, I wish to celebrate Christ with all kinds of people.

    I got a bit annoyed earlier when thinking how we all don’t share common history.. and I was uncharitable and sloppy in explaining that. But I wouldn’t doubt people’s core faith. Some inspire me greatly.

    The word ‘unrepentant’ was implied rather than stated.

    Sorry, I mistakenly jumped in too late. Usually when I hear “universalism”, I think of ecumenism or something. I see what you mean now.

  208. @ Seraph:
    Universalism is popular because It brings in the thorny question of what is hell. Often used as a club to beat on the more alarming teachings in some of Christianity.

    I can only define it as separation from God not a burning torment for eternity. Even then, I just don’t have the articulation skills to go much beyond that!

  209. Lydia wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    Universalism is popular because It brings in the thorny question of what is hell. Often used as a club to beat on the more alarming teachings in some of Christianity.

    I can only define it as separation from God not a burning torment for eternity. Even then, I just don’t have the articulation skills to go much beyond that!

    Allow me to give one orthodox teaching I came across..

    It’s separation from God there too. And on this earth, this is the time to bring our souls close to God (and the ultimate goal of all orthodox is “theosis”.. to be one with God). But after death, all will know the truth and it will be completely impossible to not know about God. And it will be Heaven to his followers.. and Hell to those who were not. Our mentality creates this situation.

  210. Saul’s experience was a good illustration of this. God’s light is nothing but good.. but for Saul on the road to Damascus, the light blinded and incapacitated him.

  211. Universalism and determinism are two sides of the same coin in that they confuse human nature and human persons. The distinction between person and nature is pretty important, as the first six ecumenical councils turn on it, as do their outcomes: the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds.

    By assuming human nature in the incarnation, and then living in that nature all the way through the crucifixion and resurrection (and beyond!), Jesus healed human nature. Universalists err by taking the truth about the healing of human nature and, making human nature and human person identical, infer that a healed nature yields all persons saved.

    Calvinist determinists err on the other side of the coin. They only allow the elect few to be united to the healing work of Christ and thence participate in the “new nature.” In both cases, nature determines person. The idea that nature determines person is the virus at the bottom of both of them.

    Jim G.

  212. The saving of “human nature” is the future hope Paul always talked about (and not the rapture some seem to be keen on). But it’s a future thing, not a present thing. It’s the Resurrection at the Last Judgement. But we are called to die to the world in the here and now, and live with Christ, so that one day we may be like him in the Resurrection.

    The only triumph of human nature now is his own. His Ascension is the first time flesh and blood went to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. He promises us all the same to sit at his own right hand, but that is the part that depends on our own person.

    Something very much ignored about Paul too btw.. the so called Apostle of Sola Fide.

    “I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Cor 9:27

    This is an Apostle speaking! And yet he still fears he should be disqualified. Very humbling….very paradoxical in ways to other things he says.

  213. @ Jim G.:
    Very helpful, thanks!

    “By assuming human nature in the incarnation, and then living in that nature all the way through the crucifixion and resurrection (and beyond!), Jesus healed human nature.”

    That just says it all and addresses one of my pet peeves in Christendom where the Incarnation time on earth is rarely addressed much less taught. The nature of creeds just passes over it too much for my taste. I enjoy spending time there. But it seems churches focus on Paul and structure.

  214. Ted wrote:

    “… realization in church life of the way that power can easily be abused in predatory ways, especially spiritual power …” (Russel Moore)

    “Spiritual” is not a good word to use when it comes to church leaders abusing their authority to abuse. There is nothing spiritual about it (i.e., Holy Spirit). These acts are the result of flesh ruling over Spirit by men who should not be in the pulpit. The American church is too quick to hand out positions of leadership to folks who have charisma, celebrity appeal, the gift of gab, and marketing ability … but who are not Spirit-led. And so they fall because they should not have been there in the first place.

  215. Lydia wrote:

    @ Jim G.:
    Very helpful, thanks!

    “By assuming human nature in the incarnation, and then living in that nature all the way through the crucifixion and resurrection (and beyond!), Jesus healed human nature.”

    That just says it all and addresses one of my pet peeves in Christendom where the Incarnation time on earth is rarely addressed much less taught. The nature of creeds just passes over it too much for my taste. I enjoy spending time there. But it seems churches focus on Paul and structure.

    Which creeds are you talking about? It’s certainly not the ones of the first millennium. Defending Jesus Christ “the man” was top priority for them. They were battling Platonic idealism (possibly via Origen’s original influence) and Gnosticism which outright said Jesus wasn’t a man.

    And this attitude mutated all of the way into Islam, which couldn’t bring itself to call Jesus a Son of God in any typical sense.. and then outright denied he was even crucified. They didn’t go the Gnostic route, but just went “La la la la la” and the result is the same.. denying the importance of the Incarnation. Christianity was always the one warring against this.

  216. @ Lydia:
    Thank you Lydia! I hesitated a bit cause in many ways we seemed to have progressed so much since those early preChristian days,’sexual revolution’ notwithstanding … Women were created to be honored and cherished…. We the believer, especially the church leader/preacher, must not abuse and refuse the grace of God in all its faith, hope & charity to one another as exemplified by our dear Savior and his sacrificial love for us

  217. @ Seraph:
    Mainly Protestant creeds. Keep in mind, the Neo Cal resurgence of the last 15-20 years really played up those creeds as Holy Writ. You could not swing a dead cat on a blog or in a church without hitting a fav creed being hawked as true Gospel. Big arguments ensued over the New Hampshire confession vs Westminster, etc . A lot of it was pseudo intellectualism, IMO.

    Keep in mind my background was more Anabaptist in nature that focused on No King but Jesus, No creed but scripture, soul competency and the priesthood of “believer”. That stuff was drilled into our heads. I acknowledge that and am grateful now.

  218. Lydia wrote:

    I take it you are in agreement with Moore on the Nashville statement from August 2017?

    I disagree with Moore on Nashville and on other matters. But I like to give credit where credit is due, and Moore is one of the few who are willing to criticize from within. I don’t see it very often. I mean, they won’t listen to those of us on the blogs, but they can’t ignore Moore. Until they fire him.

  219. Max wrote:

    “Spiritual” is not a good word to use when it comes to church leaders abusing their authority to abuse

    Max, that sentence and everything you said afterward points to Johnson & VanVonderen’s book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. I’ve got a copy on the pile next to me and I’m into it often, thanks to Dee and Deb. I recommend it highly.

  220. @ Ted:
    Ironic since he has been a big. part of the “inside” problem. Especially promoting Mahaney. I have not seen him acknowledge his big road to Damascus conversion on his change. I’ve been aware of what he is attempting to do with the UN and PC politics. And I knew it would work because people buy into words/deception so easily .

    The irony is that historically Calvinism goes Universalism or a focus on social justice because it’s just too exhausting and subsequent generations leave it. Moore is now recruiting with a national platform.

  221. Lydia wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    Mainly Protestant creeds. Keep in mind, the Neo Cal resurgence of the last 15-20 years really played up those creeds as Holy Writ. You could not swing a dead cat on a blog or in a church without hitting a fav creed being hawked as true Gospel. Big arguments ensued over the New Hampshire confession vs Westminster, etc . A lot of it was pseudo intellectualism, IMO.

    Keep in mind my background was more Anabaptist in nature that focused on No King but Jesus, No creed but scripture, soul competency and the priesthood of “believer”. That stuff was drilled into our heads. I acknowledge that and am grateful now.

    I understand. I mean, I admire some of what those creeds say (I’ve read Westminster at least), but it is a bit too intellectual and abstract. I think it kind of comes from the medieval world. Like the “Scholasticism” of Aquinas (who is very much over my head). Calvin and Luther themselves were products of that (even while rebelling against it).

    Like a direct Anabaptist? I admire a lot about how some of them live (Amish, Mennonites, etc).

  222. @ Lydia:
    On giving credit where credit is due, I like to quote George Orwell and his opinion of the artist Salvador Dali: “One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being.”

    I happen to love Dali’s art, and I’ll ignore how disgusting he may have been. So when Russell Moore says something that needs to be said against the excesses in the evangelical world, I’ll take it. But I disagree on the Nashville statement where he calls it “an urgently needed moment of gospel clarity.” I don’t think the Nashville Statement was needed or helpful at all.

    Interesting observation about Calvinism going universalist after awhile. From my window as a baptist, it’s in the form of new calvinism, “re-vitalizing” baptist churches, which have historically been more free-will. I don’t know what direction that’ll take churches like mine, but I can tell you that it has been on the weird side.

    Although most people in my church haven’t really noticed. Nobody but me and a few others are interested in church politics, theology or church history. And we don’t even agree. Most members, I think, only want to know, “Will it still begin at 10:30 and end around noon?”

    Speaking of Orwell, that’s a lot like Mollie, the white mare in Animal Farm, asking, “Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion?”

    That’s what we’re up against.

  223. Dali was not disgusting! He was a Catholic (and actually pretty humble about his walk with Christ). He even made some awesome illustrations for the Jerusalem Bible, which I’m still trying to get my hands on for a good price. lol

    He despised Communists because they killed priests in Spain. Orwell was a communist and anyone who spoke out against it…and he was a stupid one at that..who knew the horrors of his own system when he depicted it in 1984.. yet somehow projected it on to others. The proof is in the putting which ideology actually produces that sort of totalitarianism.

  224. @ Seraph:

    No. Nothing like Amish or Mennonites. Yikes. I do find it ironic that those “step children of the Reformation” made their way West to freedom and institutionalized their “separatism” that was of heroic heights against the state church. They became insular and seemed to miss the point. I use “Anabaptist” as more of a verb, I guess, against the notion of Protestantism. When I was a kid, I asked my mom if we were Protestants. She asked me what we might be protesting? . That stuck with me.

  225. Lydia wrote:

    @ Seraph:

    No. Nothing like Amish or Mennonites. Yikes. I do find it ironic that those “step children of the Reformation” made their way West to freedom and institutionalized their “separatism” that was of heroic heights against the state church. They became insular and seemed to miss the point. I use “Anabaptist” as more of a verb, I guess, against the notion of Protestantism. When I was a kid, I asked my mom if we were Protestants. She asked me what we might be protesting? . That stuck with me.

    Hah.. I see.

    Well, I kind of live a simple life myself, but I’m not so self-sufficient as those people. Not even close. So I admire that part.

  226. @ Ted:
    “Orwellian” is different to me but I won’t go there. You have described the opposite in Platonic ways I don’t subscribe to when it comes to Christianity and it’s gurus.

    I can love art and not like the artist but I don’t juxtapose that with someone hawking Jesus for fame and profit using a platform to promote issues he, himself, is guilty of in the very recent past. That is just hypocrisy in my book and why so many cons in Christendom end up being protected. Moore is attempting to rehab his image with a new crowd without the uncomfortable work of repentance.

  227. Lydia wrote:

    The irony is that historically Calvinism goes Universalism or a focus on social justice because it’s just too exhausting and subsequent generations leave it.

    I’ve been thinking about this lately. The Puritans were determinists who insisted that people must have a conversion experience to be saved. The problem with that is, do people who have grown up in the church all their lives still have radical conversions? What do those children do when they are adults in a deterministic faith and haven’t felt that conversion.

    I’m actually really concerned for children in NeoCal churches about this very thing. In some of these church plants, many of the members have seen their lives transformed, and that is great. They need to remember, though, that their kids will experience faith differently growing up in the church. Total depravity and determinism and the necessity of a radical conversion experience could easily be a stumbling block to a kid who grew up in the church.

  228. That is sad.. Even though I’m someone who didn’t grow up in the church and did have a conversion. I think growing up in the church is one of the biggest graces.

  229. Lydia wrote:

    No. Nothing like Amish or Mennonites. Yikes. I do find it ironic that those “step children of the Reformation” made their way West to freedom and institutionalized their “separatism” that was of heroic heights against the state church. They became insular and seemed to miss the point

    I grew up Mennonite, and all my ancestors and my in-laws grew up in restrictive churches who told women what they could and couldn’t wear, told people what technology they could have, and preached the need for total separation from the “ungodly” (non-Mennonites). I’m of the first generation that didn’t just go “liberal” or “worldly,” but left the denomination entirely. Now the Mennonite Church USA has replaced the strict behavior codes with a love of liberal politics. I don’t have a problem with anyone being liberal, I’m not, but liberals have an important voice to add to our discussion. My problem is the Mennonites have never repented of the junk in their past of trying to manipulate and control people. They have exchanged one set of ideology for another. I know lots of people who admire modern Mennonites for various reasons, and that’s fine. My family history makes that impossible for me.

  230. Yikes.. well, I don’t support any of that, for the record.

    I just want to make my own butter 😛

  231. @ Ricco:

    I have heard this from several that left. My understanding is more historical. It’s kind of bizarre since women supported the fight against the state church and are recorded in history (places like Martyrs Mirror) of being persecuted and even drowned (third baptism) for their beliefs along side men or their husbands. They also worked alongside men doing the necessary to survive on the run.

  232. @ Ricco:
    Have you read much of Puritan writing? They lived in perpetual sin sniffing. They taught you should go deep with your sin to root it out. It’s in there. Concentrate on sin! They are exhausting. I finally came to see it as making dates with Satan.

    There is no new life. No, get up off your mat and walk.

    OTOH, the seekers Megas were the total opposite. Evil is just a mistake, ya know. Say sorry and it’s instant repentance. Invite that sorry pedophile to diner and fellowship.

    The Neo Cals instituted the Puritan approach for pew sitters and the seeker approach for leaders. Two tiered “spiritual” justice system.

  233. @ Seraph:
    One rarely hears that, anymore. My childhood church experience was very good. Many did not have that. Some were molested, etc.

  234. @Lydia
    @Ricco
    @Seraph
    This interview with Brad Jersak brings Baptist, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and Eastern Orthodox into the same conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6U_SMOOANI. Brad grew up as a Baptist, went to college as a Calvinist, married into a Mennonite family and served as a Mennonite pastor, and later converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. He is able to describe how all the traditions benefited him. The interviewer is Anabaptist. It’s a thought-provoking interview.

  235. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    Just bookmarked it. Thanks so much. I know so little about Eastern orthodoxy theologically that was not very impressed with that politically as a societal influence in history.

  236. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    @Lydia
    @Ricco
    @Seraph
    This interview with Brad Jersak brings Baptist, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and Eastern Orthodox into the same conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6U_SMOOANI. Brad grew up as a Baptist, went to college as a Calvinist, married into a Mennonite family and served as a Mennonite pastor, and later converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. He is able to describe how all the traditions benefited him. The interviewer is Anabaptist. It’s a thought-provoking interview.

    Cool, I’ll listen to that in a bit (listening to something else atm). For the record though, I’m still a product of the West myself. It’s just that “dogma” (for lack of a better word) made a lot of sense to me once I looked to orthodoxy. But my first experience is with Catholicism. If there was a church around here, I’d be a “Western Rite” Orthodox maybe! They exist, but they’re not very common.

    Lydia. wrote:

    @ Seraph:
    One rarely hears that, anymore. My childhood church experience was very good. Many did not have that. Some were molested, etc.

    That’s sadly true. I don’t mean to ignore it. I guess the silver lining for me is mostly in exposure to the teachings of Jesus (however bad other humans got in the way of that). I was truly ignorant of any of that growing up. Until circumstances had me end up in a Catholic school.

  237. @ Lydia.:
    I’m proud of what my ancestors sacrificed for what they believed, don’t get me wrong. It just got very fundamentalist starting in the 1910s in the US. My mother in law was once told by a bishop that if she didn’t change her dress to the new, approved style, he wouldn’t be able to make a good account of her on the last day.

    Really yucky stuff.

    I really believe now that an obsession over gender roles is a luxury pursuit for upper middle class Christians that need to find something better to do. When you don’t have much money, you do whatever it takes to get by. It’s really easy for a pastor who is highly paid on the backs of his membership’s tithes to tell them all how to live when the members are sacrificing their finances for his lifestyle.

  238. @ Lydia.:
    I’ve read some. Enough to know I don’t want more. The admiration for Edwards and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is something I will never understand. If you want to worship that God, have at it. I did for a time, but it has nothing to speak into the tragedies of my life.

    I’ve read a bit of others and some histories of the time. I’m not a fan of the NeoCal love of them and it’s one of the reasons I’m not a Calvinist anymore

  239. Jim G. wrote:

    Universalism and determinism are two sides of the same coin in that they confuse human nature and human persons.

    Yes and no. This is how I used to think until I learned that universalism, like most isms, is a spectrum rather than a point. At one end of the spectrum is what you describe as determinism, where everyone gets saved whether they want it or not. I completely agree with you about what this end of the spectrum implies. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that God respects choice but that he also will never quit seeking the lost, even after the final judgement. I’m not quite sure what to believe at this point, but I am inclined to think that universalists on the non-deterministic end of the spectrum are not heretics.

    From what I have learned so far, the Eastern Orthodox view of heaven and hell is very different from the Western Christian view. It’s also a very old view. It’s hard to explain in a short comment, but I would encourage you to investigate it. In a nutshell, it’s more about a state of being than a physical location, where Jesus raises all of humanity to be in the eternal presence of the Trinity. To some it will be experienced as heaven and to others it will be experienced as hell, depending on whether we embrace or reject God’s never ending love. Our choice.

    2 Thessalonians 1:9 is an interesting verse to look at. Most translations indicate an “eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord.” But the word “away” is not in the Greek (KJV translates it without “away”). The “eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord” is exactly the same formulation as “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” from verse 2 of the same chapter. No one translates it as “Grace to you and peace away from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The difference in how to render those verses seems to be in based on the translator’s theology rather than what the passage actually says. This passage appears to support the view that being in the eternal presence of the Lord in will be experienced as hell for those who don’t want his presence. The question is whether or not a person can still “repent” after the final judgement, and it looks like there have been different acceptable “orthodox” opinions on this.

    It’s an interesting topic to investigate. It is not nearly as cut and dried as I once assumed.

  240. @ Ricco:
    “I really believe now that an obsession over gender roles is a luxury pursuit for upper middle class Christians that need to find something better to do. When you don’t have much money, you do whatever it takes to get by. It’s really easy for a pastor who is highly paid on the backs of his membership’s tithes to tell them all how to live when the members are sacrificing their finances for his lifestyle.”

    Bingo. The entire institutionalized comp movement was sparkling designer water compared to survival with faucet water. Russell Moore was one of the worst along with Piper. He used to teach young men that comps are really wimps and we need more Patriarchy. He was a serious gender divider. you then had these young minds of mush getting married young and then just watch these young couples and know that by the time she hits 40 she’s going to change her mind about being infantalized —big time. And it happened a lot. It was interesting reading Barnabas piper trying to reconcile his divorce with remaining in Christian work at a subsidiary of Lifeway. Two tiered justice strikes again!

    Benefit of being old. You see the fallout from these Christian fads. And the leaders just move on to the new thing that’s going to get new fresh recruits. It’s so unprincipled and lacking in integrity. There are bodies in their wake as the move on. If they change their mind they need to make a public confession. But who would trust their new teaching?

  241. @ Ted:
    The organized church is not willing to accept that there are various spirits at work in the American pulpit … human spirit (flesh), evil spirit (demonic), and Holy Spirit (hopefully). Believers need to pray for a new measure of discernment about which is operating within the church leadership where they attend. We have become too trusting of those who bear the title “pastor”, without the calling.

  242. Lydia wrote:

    When I was researching the definition of “Authenteo” used in Ephesians, it was hard because it was rarely used in a religious context while there were more secular examples that did not fit how it was translated. Chrysostom used it in one of his homilies imploring husbands not to authenteo their wives. What a find.

    This is indeed a very important find. Do you recall which homily it was in or where I can find it? I would very much like to have that statement in my back pocket for future conversations.

    In the spirit of Easter, I highly recommend this very short Pascha homily by John Chrysostom: http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/sermon.htm. It has been read in Orthodox Pashca services every year for about the past 1600 years. I was never introduced to any of Chrysostom’s writings in my Protestant upbringing. In the last few years I’ve discovered quite a lot of rich ancient resources like this. Very eye opening.

  243. Lydia. wrote:

    I know so little about Eastern orthodoxy theologically

    I knew almost nothing about it a few years ago. When I was investigating New Calvinism I somehow ran across some articles by Orthodox priests, so I starting digging more. Their theology is compelling and very Biblical (if I can still use that word). I am now in the process of trying to understand the whole package, which is a huge shift for a “low church” Protestant. One thing I have learned over the years is that every expression of the church, both now and throughout history, has problems. Some are very much worse than others, but at some point every denomination and local church will disappoint.

  244. @ Lydia.:
    I married into NRC which is hyperCal in my opinion… Now attending opc… They are pretty balanced, not introspective or spiritually stunting… Not stuck in cage stage, strong meat, deep end of the systematic theological pool…. You may want to try them some time…

  245. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    No, I don’t. This was years ago for my own use so I kept no database of links. I got it wrong with Ephesians. I meant 1 Tim which is based in Ephesus. Sorry! One of the good scholarly sites revamped and a lot of deep research was dumbed down. I hate that! God’s Word to Women puts up a lot of research but it’s not as good as it used to be. I do highly recommend Catherine Bushnells book, God’s Word to Women. The research and scholarship she under took using snail mail back then is incredible. She also went to medical school at the turn-of-the-century and was a medical missionary doctor.

    To clarify, Chrysstom was not promoting women as equals in the find. His was a clue to how the word was used in another spiritual context. The significance in his writing that was that husbands should not authenteo (Authentein) their wives. He wasn’t even focusing on 1 Tim. It means authenteo was a bad thing people of both genders should not do to each other. Also the grammar in first Timothy refers to one woman. Not all women.

  246. @ Max:
    Lol. But whatever floats their boat as long as they don’t expect me to get in with them. we can find decent people in all walks. I am all about decent honest people these days.

  247. @ Seraph:
    I praise God for that! And thankful you chose to believe.

    Keep in mind that a lot of people who grow up in church think they inherit their salvation by osmosis or something. And many of us still have to go on our own journey. Our Lord has no grandchildren. Only children.

  248. Max wrote:

    AJ wrote:

    hyperCal in my opinion … You may want to try them some time

    You obviously don’t know Lydia!

    Not recommending nrc… I got outta there…

    I’m recommending OPC…or at least a visit

  249. Lydia. wrote:

    I am all about decent honest people these days.

    My neighbor is not a Christian, but she loves my wife and I as herself. We hope and pray that she will accept Christ, but she may die just a decent honest person.

  250. Lydia. wrote:

    To clarify, Chrysstom was not promoting women as equals in the find. His was a clue to how the word was used in another spiritual context. The significance in his writing that was that husbands should not authenteo (Authentein) their wives. He wasn’t even focusing on 1 Tim. It means authenteo was a bad thing people of both genders should not do to each other.

    Was this your reference? http://margmowczko.com/authentein-1-timothy2_12/

  251. Lydia. wrote:

    “I really believe now that an obsession over gender roles is a luxury pursuit for upper middle class Christians that need to find something better to do. When you don’t have much money, you do whatever it takes to get by. It’s really easy for a pastor who is highly paid on the backs of his membership’s tithes to tell them all how to live when the members are sacrificing their finances for his lifestyle.”

    My, my, how human history repeats itself. Sounds like the Medieval Clergy and the Serfs all over again. The Reformers were no better. Just as totalitarian, just as brutal.

  252. Max wrote:

    We have become too trusting of those who bear the title “pastor”, without the calling.

    I’m with you. I got into a long argument with a pastor friend once, when I said that any pastor I meet I automatically consider “guilty until proven innocent.” He was trying to stand up for his profession (even though he’s met his share of charlatans and snakes) and on principle trying to give them immediate benefit of the doubt. I think they have to earn the benefit of the doubt, but I do give a lot of leeway and try to find common ground as soon as I can.

  253. @ AJ:
    Early in my Neo Cal research days I came across my first OPC guys. They could debate angels on a pinhead for days. Most of the OPC types I know have “ruling elders”. I don’t do “ruling elders”. They insist I am Pelagian. Hee hee

  254. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Lydia. wrote:

    I know so little about Eastern orthodoxy theologically

    I knew almost nothing about it a few years ago. When I was investigating New Calvinism I somehow ran across some articles by Orthodox priests, so I starting digging more. Their theology is compelling and very Biblical (if I can still use that word). I am now in the process of trying to understand the whole package, which is a huge shift for a “low church” Protestant. One thing I have learned over the years is that every expression of the church, both now and throughout history, has problems. Some are very much worse than others, but at some point every denomination and local church will disappoint.

    One group of Orthodox to definitely steer away from is “elderism” (mostly a Greek thing). Almost cult-like cliques revolving around this or that “holy monk” who came from this or that “holy mountain”. They veer from the heretical to the divisive and abusive. Sometimes these monks have dumb stories surrounding them, like being to do astral projection or read minds. Almost all of them talk about the end times, and inevitably involve Greece and nationalism.

  255. Max wrote:

    My neighbor is not a Christian, but she loves my wife and I as herself. We hope and pray that she will accept Christ, but she may die just a decent honest person.

    Could it be that by her deeds she’s accepted Christ?
    C.S. Lewis (and Erasmus long before Lewis) seemed to think so.

  256. There’s a part of me that really wants to believe those people are saved somehow.. and that’s where the “purging” comes from. And true condemnation is reserved for truly criminal.

    My mom is such a person, who is decent, but very wishy-washy in her beliefs (although she grew up Buddhist, and also has some of the local “animist” type of beliefs she grew up with).

    But that’s just my private stance.

  257. Lydia. wrote:

    by the time she hits 40 she’s going to change her mind about being infantalized —big time.

    She wants authentic human relationship. He still wants power and control. Michael Capuzzo in his book about the Vidocq Society, writes of Richard Walter’s 8-step Helix in a life with the luxury of overt and covert. It’s a downward descent, less than who God created us to be, and right into the hands of the enemy. Unfortunately, some Christian leaders actually live, model, and teach this depravity.

  258. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Is it a false doctrine? ………the first seven ecumenical councils dealt with all of the major heresies in the first 700+ years of Christianity, but they never addresses universalism.

    Ken F,

    What did Martin Luther say when he was told to recant his belief in Scripture? Didn’t he say something about how we can’t base our faith on what church councils do because they “often error?”

    Besides—Jesus again refuted the lie of Universalism in Luke 16:19-31.

    There’s a reason the Bible warns us: “Be careful not to let anyone rob you of this faith through a shallow and misleading philosophy. Such a person follows human traditions and the world’s way of doing things rather than following Christ.” Col 2:8(NOG)

  259. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    @Lydia
    @Ricco
    @Seraph
    This interview with Brad Jersak brings Baptist, Calvinist, Anabaptist, and Eastern Orthodox into the same conversation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6U_SMOOANI. Brad grew up as a Baptist, went to college as a Calvinist, married into a Mennonite family and served as a Mennonite pastor, and later converted to Eastern Orthodoxy. He is able to describe how all the traditions benefited him. The interviewer is Anabaptist. It’s a thought-provoking interview.

    Neat conversation. I didn’t know the Anabaptist roots had roots in Erasmus’ research. But yeah, I think it’s only fair to for all of us in the West to acquaint ourselves with the East, along with other things we grew up with. That’s all I’m trying to do myself.

  260. @ Avid Reader:
    I think that there is scriptural support for parts of both positions. The Bible doesn’t say “everyone will be saved no matter what they want.” It does have a number of verses about Jesus reconciling the world to himself. There is a tension there that I don’t know how to resolve.

  261. @ JYJames:
    Read a bio of Walter and the Society. Fascinating. Have not been able to find 8 step Helix. Sounds very interesting. Is it in Capuzzo’s book?

  262. @ Lydia.:
    Yes. I’ll have to find the bio you mention. Interesting. His research is not favorable regarding men who dominate women. You can Google the 8-step helix. Piper alludes to some of those steps. Very odd.

  263. Since we are discussing Eastern Orthodoxy, IMO the greatest strength of the entire EO theological system is the denial of absolute divine simplicity. The EO have always allowed for God to be one yet complex in a way that the Origen/Augustinian synthesis does not.

    Absolute divine simplicity holds that anything that can be rightfully predicated of God is absolutely identical to every other predication and to God himself. That means that God equals his justice equals his will equals his omnipotence, etc. In such a construct, for God to foreknow something is exactly the same for him to foreordain it. Such a construct also necessarily confuses person and nature, as in the West, the divine persons are defined as relations of the divine essence to itself. In EO, the persons are not reducible to the essence, no matter if we are talking about divine or human persons.

    Absolute divine simplicity is at the heart of the filioque doctrine that divides EO from the RCC. It is at the heart of the Thomistic constructions of nature and grace, as well as natural theology and theological determinism. EO theology has much more explanatory power without all the nasty side effects.

    Jim G.

  264. Jim G. wrote:

    Since we are discussing Eastern Orthodoxy, IMO the greatest strength of the entire EO theological system is the denial of absolute divine simplicity. The EO have always allowed for God to be one yet complex in a way that the Origen/Augustinian synthesis does not.

    Absolute divine simplicity holds that anything that can be rightfully predicated of God is absolutely identical to every other predication and to God himself. That means that God equals his justice equals his will equals his omnipotence, etc. In such a construct, for God to foreknow something is exactly the same for him to foreordain it. Such a construct also necessarily confuses person and nature, as in the West, the divine persons are defined as relations of the divine essence to itself. In EO, the persons are not reducible to the essence, no matter if we are talking about divine or human persons.

    Absolute divine simplicity is at the heart of the filioque doctrine that divides EO from the RCC. It is at the heart of the Thomistic constructions of nature and grace, as well as natural theology and theological determinism. EO theology has much more explanatory power without all the nasty side effects.

    Jim G.

    I may sound weird as someone who talks a bit about orthodoxy, but I actually appreciate and understand why Rome suggested the filoque. It’s implied in the scripture too.. but at the same time, you’re right about this being different than Orthodox thinking.

    The Catholics have singled out other aspects of God down the centuries, like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is foreign to Orthodox thinking. They wouldn’t seperate Jesus’ body like that. But I can appreciate it myself.

  265. @ Jim G.:
    “Absolute divine simplicity holds that anything that can be rightfully predicated of God is absolutely identical to every other predication and to God himself. That means that God equals his justice equals his will equals his omnipotence, etc. In such a construct, for God to foreknow something is exactly the same for him to foreordain it. “

    That explains a lot. I was in a convo with a non Calvinist (Protestant) who insisted that foreknowledge, as in God “knows and allows”, is that same as God foreordained the action/event. Anything else was Open Theism. So, if God knows it means God automatically controls because He allowed it. If not, it means God does not foreknow.

    (Gives me a headache)

  266. When I say I appreciate the filoque, what I forgot to say is I think the real tragedies were political.. and still had hope well after the filoque.. until the 4th Crusade, which pretty much closed the doors.

  267. Avid Reader wrote:

    What did Martin Luther say when he was told to recant his belief in Scripture? Didn’t he say something about how we can’t base our faith on what church councils do because they “often error?”

    A few years ago I would have been in 100% agreement with you, so I am very sympathetic with your viewpoint. I’ve come to a different place in the meantime, mostly through reading up on church history.

    Your quote from Luther is a bit ironic. Who is more likely to err, an individual or a a council? One could make an argument for either, but the ancient church believed that conciliatory councils (pardon the redundancy) would negate the errors of any individual. I am also pretty sure that Luther accepted the first six or seven ecumenical councils – it was the latter Roman Catholic councils that Luther rejected. When different individuals or councils disagree, who decides which view is correct? If I disagree with Luther, am I wrong or is he wrong? By what basis does one decide?

    This leads to the the topic of Sola Scriptura, which literally means scripture alone. The funny thing about this teaching is not only is it not in the Bible, but the Bible contradicts it in in verses like 2 Thes 2:15 (“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us”) and 2 Tim 2:2 (“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”). There was no NT when these were written, so Paul could not have been talking about the NT – he had to be talking about things that were not written. Some argue that everything Paul taught was eventually written down and captured in the NT. But the NT does not say this, so one has no rationale to believe it based on sola scriptura. On a number of fronts I find “sola scriptura” to be self-defeating. At one point we all have to chose to trust a particular tradition because the Bible is not clear enough for everyone to be on the same page. If it was, all Christians would believe all the same things, but clearly we don’t.

    As for the ultimate state of the unsaved, there are three views that can all be supported by the Bible: eternal conscious torment (as taught by Augustine), annihilation, and eventual salvation (universalism as taught by Gregory of Nyssa). Each “side” can find many solid proof texts, and each side knows how to argue against all of the proof texts used by the others. Here is an example that a Christian universalist would use: Rom 5:15 – “For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” All Christians are universalists when it comes to believing that Adam’s sin affected all humans, but are not universalists when it comes to what Jesus did. In light of this verse, why not? This verse says that what Jesus did was “much more” that what Adam did. So if Jesus’ salvation applies to only some, then how is it “much more”? Is Adam more powerful than Jesus? There are many other verses that provide clear support for universalism, just as there are many verses that oppose it. Proof-texting will not resolve this conflict.

    To call universalism a lie or a false teaching seems to be a very arrogant position to take in light of both church history and the Bible. I think the best path is to acknowledge that we humans don’t really know how God will ultimately deal with the “unsaved.” Also, as Christians, how could we not hope for the salvation of all?

  268. Luther also wanted to get rid of the Epistle of James at one point. That’s kind of a red flag, isn’t it? He didn’t just have a problem with councils.. but canon too. And he explicitly added “alone” when putting “faith alone” in his Bible.

  269. Seraph wrote:

    And he explicitly added “alone” when putting “faith alone” in his Bible.

    Well, “faith alone” actually is in the Bible, sort of: James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” This is why Luther wanted to get rid of the book of James. So much for sola scriptura…

  270. Heh, yeah, the one area where it does state that isn’t exactly supportive.

    I do appreciate Luther for his fight though. I’m not sure what to believe about Pope Leo X, but it didn’t sound great.

  271. Seraph,

    The only way filioque is implied in Scripture is if one sees no distinction between the economy (here and now) and eternity. The idea of double procession (the Spirit proceeding filioque, “and from the Son”) is antithetical to the monarchy of the Father that is the linchpin of EO theology proper.

  272. Jim G. wrote:

    Seraph,

    The only way filioque is implied in Scripture is if one sees no distinction between the economy (here and now) and eternity. The idea of double procession (the Spirit proceeding filioque, “and from the Son”) is antithetical to the monarchy of the Father that is the linchpin of EO theology proper.

    Some of this over my head tbh, but I just mean that I think they did it, because the scriptures indicated this to them. I think it with done with sincerity. Maybe they didn’t see all of the implications themselves though.

    “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” -John 16:13-15

    “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” – Gal 4:6

  273. Lydia,

    Here is a real kicker with absolute divine simplicity. It is impossible, within the construct of absolute simplicity, to meaningfully differentiate between acts of creation and acts of generation. That is, either the Son and the world are both eternal or they are both created. See the Arian Controversy in there?

    The great thinkers of Western civilization were all true believers in absolute divine simplicity. That includes Christian giants like Augustine, Aquinas, Ockham, Luther, and Edwards, as well as more notorious figures like Descartes and Spinoza. Absolute divine simplicity was invented by pagan Greek philosophers, and is well suited for the pantheistic Hellenistic culture. It’s not a big stretch for Spinoza and his followers to derive pantheism out of divine simplicity. And if there is an unbridgeable divide between the singular, simple God and all that is created, can deism and eventually atheism be far behind?

    Our cultural malignancies fall out of our theology. We are a theological culture after all.

    Jim G.

  274. Seraph,

    The filioque was not “adopted” on biblical grounds. It did not exist at all until Augustine’s turn to absolute simplicity that forced him to reduce person to nature. He is the first of the fathers to even speak of it, and that was in the early fifth century.

    It came into the Western mainstream in the adoptionistic controversy in Spain in the sixth century. It was utilized to bolster the full divinity of the Son, because he was a part of the procession of the Spirit. Everyone agreed the Father was divine because he begets the Son and spirates the Spirit (along with the Son). Since the Son has a hand in the act of procession, he must be fully God too. It became a political hammer in the court of Charlemagne in his attempt to rule the world. His policies are probably more important than anything in using it to drive the West (which he controlled militarily) from the Byzantine East.

    Filioque is very novel as a doctrine, and the EO will have nothing to do with it. Never will.

    Jim G.

  275. Jim G. wrote:

    Seraph,

    The filioque was not “adopted” on biblical grounds. It did not exist at all until Augustine’s turn to absolute simplicity that forced him to reduce person to nature. He is the first of the fathers to even speak of it, and that was in the early fifth century.

    It came into the Western mainstream in the adoptionistic controversy in Spain in the sixth century. It was utilized to bolster the full divinity of the Son, because he was a part of the procession of the Spirit. Everyone agreed the Father was divine because he begets the Son and spirates the Spirit (along with the Son). Since the Son has a hand in the act of procession, he must be fully God too. It became a political hammer in the court of Charlemagne in his attempt to rule the world. His policies are probably more important than anything in using it to drive the West (which he controlled militarily) from the Byzantine East.

    Filioque is very novel as a doctrine, and the EO will have nothing to do with it. Never will.

    Jim G.

    I’ve heard the bit about Charlemagne from other Orthodox teachers, but that part was over my head as well. :\ I kind of half ignored it, because it sounded like anti-Germanic bitterness. I thought the real problem behind it may have been more political (on both sides).

    Why I ignored this is that….If there is one thing I don’t like about orthodoxy, is that it’s hard to seperate theology and their nationalism and ethnocentrism. But maybe there’s something more here. I’m willing to hear it out.

  276. I forgot to add, even if it was not adopted on biblical grounds, it’s still a tough thing for me personally to ignore, in the here and now.

    I bet this is what the Reformers though as well.

  277. @ Lydia.:
    Hi Lydia,

    Below is a link to the Capuzzo book, with Richard Walter’s theory. It is disturbing to think that dominating (personal authority over, and marriage is personal) another human being is actual theology and teaching; from a psychologist’s viewpoint, it is not healthy for either party.

    We deal with authority at work, but there are social boundaries. In this post, the pastor crosses boundaries with his female co-workers. Is this acceptable in a church workplace? Is personal domination acceptable in Christian marriage? The assumption that everyone plays nice can be harmful. When the Bible says do not give opportunity for sin, maybe not giving a man unhealthy power over wife or co-worker would be helpful.

    books.google.com/books?id=ZUDh6fV8DKUC&pg=PT290&lpg=PT290&dq=richard+walter+eight+step+helix&source=bl&ots=MF-jj4jt64&sig=oUx93mUoZ1IyZoA2m1S4WqeEvuk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwipwpao7pfaAhVl0YMKHRlLCggQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=richard%20walter%20eight%20step%20helix&f=false

  278. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    Well put Ken. Much to consider beyond just a proof text or two. I no longer think that the Bible can be linearized with heavy bullet points to one particular view of what happens when we breathe our last and leave this world.

  279. Lydia. wrote:

    @ AJ:
    Early in my Neo Cal research days I came across my first OPC guys. They could debate angels on a pinhead for days. Most of the OPC types I know have “ruling elders”. I don’t do “ruling elders”. They insist I am Pelagian. Hee hee

    Oh yes. Angels on pinheads forever.

    I don’t know Lydia personally, but from comments of hers I’ve read, I’m guessing the OPC wouldn’t be a good fit for a number of other reasons….say the insistence on women obeying, covering their heads in worship to signify submission to men, its horrible record on domestic violence, or its witch hunts & elder abuse (e.g. the Carrick case – the pieces Valerie Hobbs wrote for The Aquila Report are easily googled)

    NRC is scary stuff.

  280. Even the most authoritative councils and saints of the early church didn’t have detailed answers about death. It never reached the point of being capital “T” teaching. Just left open-ended, and to be discussed among everyone. That should say something.

    All I can say is I hope for everyone. My dad just passed away at Christmas, and while he was baptized as a kid, he wasn’t all that religious. He was very kind and humble though, and I just pray God is taking care of him and to have mercy.

  281. @ JYJames:
    Thanks! I will check it out. Since I did not grow up in an authoritarian church environment nor had parents that modeled that at home, the whole comp movement and authoritarian church environment shocked me. It took me a while to see it. There has to be psychological term for that. Maybe thinking well meaning people in a Christian environment can’t really be what you think you are seeing? Naive! Some of it was pure deception on their part, too. Presenting themselves as something they aren’t.

  282. Lydia. wrote:

    There has to be psychological term for that. Maybe thinking well meaning people in a Christian environment can’t really be what you think you are seeing? Naive! Some of it was pure deception on their part, too. Presenting themselves as something they aren’t.

    There is no doubt that the enemy of the Cross of Christ is working a great deception in the organized church – that’s what he does. Deceivers are even in the pulpit!

    Nice folks, like you me Lydia, are trusting souls. Church folks are some of the worst about being too trusting. The psychology of trust is a simple thing – we just expect folks to act like they should. Darn it, you should be able to trust church leaders! Us good folks have no reason not to trust them … until we are touched by betrayal. Thus, over time, we have learned how to identify hypocrites – finding it tough to give them a second chance, and desiring to rid them from our sphere of trust. My 4-year old grandson just loves everybody, he trusts them. But, the other day, we passed a couple of shady characters dressed completely in black, hoods obscuring their faces – he said “Papaw, I don’t like those guys.” He reminded me that much of discernment is just simple observation – listening and looking for red flags. Those colors are being raised all over the Southern Baptist Convention right now – an illegitimate authority has set up camp … asking us to trust them.

  283. @ JYJames:
    Oh my word. First, thank you for searching the book that never occurred to me. Duh. I have read through about five or six pages and am reeling. He touches on something that some of us have found out the very hard way. Some of the nicest, most charming helpful people are the biggest deceivers. Not all become sadistic murderers but many are manipulative deceivers. I learned the hard way to appreciate bellicose jerks. At least you know what you are dealing with upfront.

    It really brought that home to me when Walters said that sadistic suspects they are investigating showed up to his lectures. And I know from my days on the board of the crisis center that pedophiles are often paroled early because of their excellent behavior in prison. I also know from being an advocate that family court rarely recognizes things like narcissism and sociopathy. It’s scary how naive we can be! Deception is so evil.

  284. Lydia. wrote:

    @ AJ:
    Early in my Neo Cal research days I came across my first OPC guys. They could debate angels on a pinhead for days. Most of the OPC types I know have “ruling elders”. I don’t do “ruling elders”. They insist I am Pelagian. Hee hee

    You have too much insight to be Pelagian, regardless of what elders say… If Jesus wasn’t the Savior from sin He claims to be, we aren’t having this conversation

  285. Hi Seraph and Ken F,

    Happy Easter! Hope you are enjoying a restful time with your families today.

    In Mark 4—Jesus warned us about how we can hear the word of God—but then allow the cares of the world and other things to steal that word from us. That there’s a danger of us only hearing God’s word—but not actually doing anything about it. Thus the Bible warns us “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)

    Yet there’s a part of us that wants to believe that because God loves us—we can do whatever we feel is right and God will accept it. We want to believe that God is in control of our decisions. It’s much harder to realize that God won’t make our choices for us. That our choices will determine our future—even if we choose the painful pathway that God never wanted us to suffer. That according to God’s law of sowing and reaping—we can’t blame God for our own choices. That God isn’t going to change spiritual laws just because we refuse to accept them.

    Still the heart of God hopes that we will choose the good things He has for us:
    “I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.” Deut 30:19 (GNT)

    What did Jesus say about this? Jesus refuted the lie of Universalism again in Matthew 7:21-23(CEV) & (NLT), making it clear that “Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.”

    “On judgment day many will say to me, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” But I will reply, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.””

    Yes, Jesus wants to reconcile the whole world. But the whole world won’t allow Him to do that. Look at how Jesus grieved in Luke 13:34 because people’s choices wouldn’t allow God’s will to happen.

    Universalism is another form of the same philosophy that claims God makes our decisions for us. That no matter what we do, God will magically clean up our messes.

    “Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” Gal 6:7-8 (HSCB)

    Either we believe the words of Christ or we turn aside to these other philosophies that sound just like that snake in the garden telling Eve that God really didn’t mean what He actually said. Beware of the “hath God really said?” philosophies.

  286. @ AJ:
    Thanks, I think?

    The Neo Cals like to flex their pseudo intellectual powers and call people names like Pelagian. So, I researched the guy. Most of what we know about him comes from Augustine, his arch enemy. That didn’t help me much because I’m not a big fan of Augustine. Most of Pelagius writings were destroyed. What little remained only recently was translated to English and expensive. Perhaps there is a Palladian scholar out there that can set me straight . Until then, I don’t take the name calling as an insult. Hee hee.

  287. @ Max:
    Dante’s 9th ring of hell is betrayal by a trusted person. There is a lot of truth in that medieval description of such betrayal.

  288. Lydia. wrote:

    Oh my word.

    Oh my word is right. As I read the Helix, I wondered if with “#4: Punishing control with dominance and submission creating a sense of dread and dependency in the vicitm” – I wondered if Patriarchy has elements of this, not to get too dark here. What he describes relates to what some women experience with their sanctioned patriarchal husbands. Maybe some patriarchal husbands are well-meaning, maybe some not so much.

    The fantasy with this, and Richard Walter says it all starts with a fantasy, #1, is the guy as a super hero messiah of sorts rescuing the damsel in distress, on a daily basis, rescuing her from herself, her humanity of being a real person. Maybe that is the root of patriarchy.

    #2 Voyeurism – Piper watching young folks parked in cars, that he writes about.

    The whole Helix is arrested development in regard to relationships, the other person as an object and not fully a person to relate to on level ground. The person descending the steps has difficulty with relationships so selects to control over an object (person).

    As much as the Patriarchals have complete theologies to back up their pathology, mature Christians need to have relationship theology in their thoughtfulness, toolbelt and practice. That would help derail, perhaps, a Hybel-type calling a woman co-worker to his hotel room for wine when he is drugged up and fiesty. It’s neither Biblical, nor healthy, nor love.

  289. Avid Reader wrote:

    Either we believe the words of Christ or we turn aside to these other philosophies that sound just like that snake in the garden telling Eve that God really didn’t mean what He actually said. Beware of the “hath God really said?” philosophies.

    I am assuming that you take the Bible as seriously as I do, and that you are as commited to obeying God as I am. Your implication that I am not believing what Christ says is both incorrect and insulting. You are proving my point that serious Christians can have different understandings on what the Bible says in areas that can seem important. To claim that your view is correct and that my view is opposing Christ is overly simplistic in this particular topic. This is one of those areas where Christians should find a way to disagree without accusing or breaking fellowship.

  290. @ JYJames:
    I am going to read the book. Just off the top of my head, I see it played differently when the person has a stage with adoring fans hanging on every word. That is a sort of control. But, I can tell you from experience most are not the charming personality backstage to their staff. It was the deception that shook me. For example, I think Pipers creepy tweets are who he really is. There have been red flags for decades as he pushed the envelope on the shock jock shitck. I could go on but want to read the book.

    I hear you about a relationship theology. What a thought! Everything including boundaries needs to be visited.

  291. Ricco wrote:

    @ Lydia.:

    I really believe now that an obsession over gender roles is a luxury pursuit for upper middle class Christians that need to find something better to do. When you don’t have much money, you do whatever it takes to get by. It’s really easy for a pastor who is highly paid on the backs of his membership’s tithes to tell them all how to live when the members are sacrificing their finances for his lifestyle.

    Interesting, most of the patriarchalists (think I made up that word) I’ve encountered were anything but upper middle-class, and were fiercely proud of both their doctrine and their economic circumstances.

  292. JYJames wrote:

    @ Lydia.:
    Yes. I’ll have to find the bio you mention. Interesting. His research is not favorable regarding men who dominate women. You can Google the 8-step helix. Piper alludes to some of those steps. Very odd.

    @JYJames
    Would you be able to link to the material you quoted in another comment about the 8-step helix? I googled and am getting DNA and programming results. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

  293. Lydia. wrote:

    It took me a while to see it. There has to be psychological term for that.

    Change blindness? Have you seen the video with the gorilla walking through the people passing the basketball?

  294. Avid Reader wrote:

    Either we believe the words of Christ or we turn aside to these other philosophies that sound just like that snake in the garden telling Eve that God really didn’t mean what He actually said. Beware of the “hath God really said?” philosophies.

    Funny you should quote that one. You’ll be aware that immediately after the phrase “Yeah, hathest Godde indeed saith thereof…” the snake followed up with something that, indeed, God did not say. Rather, he put words in God’s mouth. Eve, in response, also put words in God’s mouth – padding out God’s command concerning That Fruit with additional prohibitions and rules.

    While it’s true that there are deceptive teachings that deny or undermine what God has said, there are also deceptive teachings pushing things that God did not command, nor – to paraphrase what he said to Jeremiah – did they enter his mind.

    Also, there being over 30,000 verses in the Bible, it’s worth remembering that no matter what the Bible says, the Bible – not pagans, or liberals, or philosophers, but the Bible – says other things too. It’s very tempting, on complex and subtle issues, to pick one facet of truth that [generic] you like – for whatever reason – and declare that to be “the command of Christ”. Thence, to throw out the other facets of [biblical] truth and describe them as “philosophies” or as “some people say…” and follow that description up with unrelated scripture fragments warning about false teaching. The net effect is to use scripture to refute scripture.

  295. Avid Reader wrote:

    Yet there’s a part of us that wants to believe that because God loves us—we can do whatever we feel is right and God will accept it. We want to believe that God is in control of our decisions. It’s much harder to realize that God won’t make our choices for us. That our choices will determine our future—even if we choose the painful pathway that God never wanted us to suffer. That according to God’s law of sowing and reaping—we can’t blame God for our own choices. That God isn’t going to change spiritual laws just because we refuse to accept them.

    To add to what I replied to you above, it struck me that what you wrote here is perfectly compatible with the type of Christian universalism to which I was first exposed a few years ago. At that time I was convinced that universalism in any form was clear heresy. But then I listened to this interview https://www.gci.org/YI083 (it’s also available on YouTube as “The Evangelical Universalist – Robin Parry Interview” – but the CGI link includes the transcript if you are more of an “avid reader” than an “avid listener/watcher”). That interview shocked me because he presents such a compelling case for it from the Bible. And he addresses all the main objections. As a caveat, I have not listened to or researched Christian Universalism very much outside of this interview and the teachings of people who have been accused of being universalists such as Baxter Kruger, Wm Paul Young, and Brad Jersak. I encourage you to listen to or read the interview. At worst, it will help you to better defend your case against universalism. But it might also give you rationale to extend more grace to those who do not think it is heresy. I am leaning toward Parry’s view, but I am not dogmatic about it.

  296. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    Your comments on this topic strongly hint at the idea that there’s no such thing as “too much time” spent with the bible when we’re pondering difficult or contentious topics. I know you haven’t used exactly those words, but I think that’s a fair extrapolation.

    As you’ve observed, compelling cases can be made from scripture in support of apparently opposing and incompatible doctrines on this topic among many others. Where that is the case, one approach is to decide which one is true – but that, of course, is to set scripture against scripture in an attempt to decide which scriptures don’t count or don’t mean what they say.

    Another approach is to say that the truth must lie somewhere in between the two “extremes” – I don’t personally like that either, though, because for one thing it implies that both sets of scriptures quoted are “extremes”, and for another, it implies that truth is a crude, single point on a one-dimensional line.

  297. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Nick,

    God didn’t put Col 2:8 in the Bible just to fill up empty space. He put it there to warn us about all the false philosophies out there that try to pull us away from Christ. Yes, there are thousands of verses in the Bible. All the more reason to focus our Bible reading on what Christ actually said. The words of Christ are not some big mystery that we will never understand. They are exactly what we need to know to figure out everything else.

  298. Ken F,

    No one here is questioning your faith or commitment to Christ. We know that you deeply love the Lord. What we are questioning is the deceptive philosophies that have infiltrated the church.

    Now I was going to say—let’s step back and take a deep breath, but Dee just took those words right out of my mouth on the other thread.

    Anyway—What if you were driving to work very early in the morning before rush hour. As you approach the bridge that goes over the deep canyon, you have a bad feeling. You stop the car, get out and look and see that after the heavy storm last night, the bridge has been washed out.

    Wouldn’t you want to post a warning sign for all the other motorists who are about to take that road on their way to work? What if people got upset at you for posting that warning sign that the bridge was out? What if they called you “arrogant” for posting that warning sign? Wouldn’t you still do it?

    Now since you asked me to listen to that video, I will. In return, I’m asking you to read the book by Mary K Baxter called Divine Revelation of satan’s Deceptions. Then I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

  299. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Your comments on this topic strongly hint at the idea that there’s no such thing as “too much time” spent with the bible when we’re pondering difficult or contentious topics. I know you haven’t used exactly those words, but I think that’s a fair extrapolation.

    I’m glad you pointed this out because it shows I was not clear enough. I’m thinking that there are some topics where it is tempting to lock down on one view or another, when in fact the reality is neither, and not even something in the middle. The best example is how everyone misinterpreted what the messiah must be like. No one understood, not even the 12 disciples, until after the resurrection. On this side of the resurrection it seems rather obvious, but everyone on the other side of the resurrection was wrong. But did this make them false teachers? I think they were mistaken, but not false or deceptive.

    I suspect our curret understanding of heaven and hell is a bit like that. We can be sure they are real, but I don’t think we can be as sure about the details, which is why I believe we should be careful in using words like false teaching and heresy when others views the details a bit differently from us.

  300. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Another approach is to say that the truth must lie somewhere in between the two “extremes” – I don’t personally like that either, though, because for one thing it implies that both sets of scriptures quoted are “extremes”, and for another, it implies that truth is a crude, single point on a one-dimensional line.

    Or we can say that since the slope of a line is the same everywhere, it matters not what the extremum are on an open or closed interval, it’s the trajectory that matters.

  301. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I’m not likely to read a book by someone who claims that Jesus personally took her on a 40 night tour of hell. At least not until I find out more about her.

    There have been many others through the centuries who claim divine and secret knowledge of the Bible. I shan’t be reading her books either.

  302. Lydia. wrote:

    Some of the nicest, most charming helpful people are the biggest deceivers. Not all become sadistic murderers but many are manipulative deceivers. I learned the hard way to appreciate bellicose jerks. At least you know what you are dealing with upfront.

    So true. I’ve noticed many of my friends are fairly blunt about who they are and that’s probably why I like them. I always said I don’t trust charm…but got fooled by a charmer once anyways. It’s hard to avoid.

  303. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    On this side of the resurrection it seems rather obvious, but everyone on the other side of the resurrection was wrong. But did this make them false teachers? I think they were mistaken, but not false or deceptive.

    Indeed – I often think of Priscilla and Aquila and their approach to Apollos, i.e. to take him aside and explain the way more accurately to him. Luke doesn’t tell us what they thought was inaccurate about his preaching/debating, but evidently they didn’t decide that these inaccuracies defined what he truly was and showed him to be a false teacher.

  304. JYJames wrote:

    Maybe some patriarchal husbands are well-meaning, maybe some not so much.

    I would think well meaning people would actually love their spouse, and default to that at heart…which would tend to make a relationship what we think of as egalitarian. Teachings of the patriarchal/comp variety would seem to distort natural relationships more than anything.

  305. @ Avid Reader (to me):
    @ Avid Reader (to Ken F):

    Avid Reader, I’ve cited both your responses because I want to address them both together. I agree entirely with the importance of avoiding distractions, deceptions and false teachings, and with the importance of warning people when you’ve seen danger. That’s precisely why I wrote my comment to you.

  306. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    But then I listened to this interview https://www.gci.org/YI083 (it’s also available on YouTube as “The Evangelical Universalist – Robin Parry Interview”…)

    Well, I was curious, so I had a quick look. My first impression was that Mr Parry looks scarily like me. Right down to the great hair, designer stubble and (if I may be frank) terrible dress sense.

  307. @ Max:
    Wow. Church seems to keep everyone focused on a shiny bauble so as not to think too hard or see anything else but what they present.

  308. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Even on our best days, you and I will never be able to compete with someone who has written books about being taken on personal tours of heaven and hell by none other than Jesus Christ. How could we? I personally place more trust in your cricket stories…

  309. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    How could we? I personally place more trust in your cricket stories…

    And I’d rather hear Nick’s Fitba’ news then be regaled with tales of the inferno.

  310. Muff Potter wrote:

    And I’d rather hear Nick’s Fitba’ news then be regaled with tales of the inferno.

    Watching England on current form, there’s a fine line between cricket and the inferno, I’d say.

  311. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    Thankyou, Ken – I am greatly heartened by this!

    My cricket stories can be verified, of course – although my inherent England-follower pessimism is subjective, I admit.

  312. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    My cricket stories

    In America, crickets are obnoxious insects … I have lots of stories about those. However, American “football” involves very little contact with the feet. Soccer is really football.

  313. @ Max:

    I don’t think there’s any etymological connection between the name of the sport and the name of the insect. The name “cricket” is thought to derive from an old Dutch word meaning stick, whereas the name of the insect derives from old Dutch/French/English word(s) meaning to creak.

    American Fitba’ resembles Rugby League, which is similar but without the padding and long pauses, and with more northern english accents. Rugby is formally “rugby fitba'” though, again, there’s more handling and throwing than kicking. Strictly speaking, of course, “soccer” – being short for “association fitba'”, is not incorrect!

  314. refugee wrote:

    I can’t imagine, at this point in my life, voluntarily subjecting myself to second-class citizenship or even sub-adult or sub-human status in exchange for some specious promise of safety and protection.

    Maybe if enough women come to their senses and leave, the complementarian men will not be able to breed replacements and will die out as the Shakers did.

    One word: LYSISTRATA.

  315. Lydia wrote:

    Agree. He was groomed and promoted as a Mohler yes man. However, the protege often seeks to surpass the mentor.

    Just like David Miscavage and Elron Hubbard?

  316. AJ wrote:

    against sexual slavery. The church fathers called it “coerced sin.” How could the church preach against sexual sin when many women (and men) had no choice?

    One of the corollaries of this was the Catholic teaching that a virgin who is raped is still a virgin. Forced sex does not count.

    For a slave to resist the sexual advances of her or his master meant death.

    There are actually surviving contracts from Roman times with “TORTVRES”, independent contractors who “disciplined” slaves on an outsourcing basis. The contracts included provisions of “equipment” (including crosses and “FVRCAE” – a type of pole garotte for slow strangling) and disposal of bodies/body parts/general mess.

  317. AJ wrote:

    Let that historical fact sink in: *The* most reliable index of how deeply Christianity had permeated a society was whether it outlawed sexual slavery. Today, as sex slavery and sex trafficking are again becoming widespread, modern Christians must recover their rich moral and humanitarian heritage.

    Instead of joining in as Privilege of Rank.

  318. Seraph wrote:

    He despised Communists because they killed priests in Spain. Orwell was a communist and anyone who spoke out against it…and he was a stupid one at that..who knew the horrors of his own system when he depicted it in 1984.. yet somehow projected it on to others.

    Actually, Orwell came from another (non-totalitarian) branch of Socialism. There was apparently quite a spectrum of Socialists, which in Europe was normally tied into the labor union movement.

    As for Dali, I think a lot of his weirdness was trolling the rich and stupid Pretentious Art Fashionistas.

    Such as signing thousands of blank print papers and using them for quick-and-dirty “signed” mass printings. (The signatures are still valuable to autograph collectors.)

    And one story where Dali made a point by squatting down at some event, squeezing out a turd, and announcing “This is ART because I Say It Is!” Said Genuine Dali Turd got sealed in Lucite and sold for big bucks to some Highbrow Art Collector as a Genuine Dali. Which was probably Dali’s point all along.

    As long as you can get away with it, might as well GET WEIRD.

  319. Ricco wrote:

    I grew up Mennonite, and all my ancestors and my in-laws grew up in restrictive churches who told women what they could and couldn’t wear, told people what technology they could have, and preached the need for total separation from the “ungodly” (non-Mennonites).

    They’re not the only ones to have that attitude.
    A lot of “splinter churches” do.

    Now regarding Anabaptists, one of my writing partners is Anabaptist and explained the distinctions this way:
    1) You have Anabaptists.
    2) Mennonites are one step beyond Anabaptist.
    3) Old Order Mennonies are one step beyond Mennonites.
    4) Amish are one step beyond Old Order Mennonites.
    5) And Old Order Amish (top of the spectrum) are one step beyond Amish.

    He also related getting recruitment mail from a Mennonite(?) colony somewhere in the Guianas trying to recruit him. One anecdote he told me of this colony was that there was a MAJOR schism (full “Come Out From Among the Backsliders” with anathemas and excommunications flying left and right) because one of the Elders was seen riding a bicycle on the Sabbath. Said he was scared of ever answering those recruitments because he might disappear — “and the only thing you’ll ever hear from me again, I’ll be in an Amish beard & hat and will only speak about slopping pigs and the like.”

    I’m of the first generation that didn’t just go “liberal” or “worldly,” but left the denomination entirely.

    I believe the term is “Going English”.

  320. Ricco wrote:

    It’s really easy for a pastor who is highly paid on the backs of his membership’s tithes to tell them all how to live when the members are sacrificing their finances for his lifestyle.

    As in Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous?

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